While reporting good results for its financial year ended last June 30, the Australian company announced that it has bought DaKine Hawaii, the boardsports equipment company which is well know internationally for its cool backpacks, bags, gloves and winter products. Billabong International is paying $99.9 million for the company initially, and the total price could end up being $133 million, with $33.3 million in bonus payments due by 2012 depending on performance.
DaKine’s surfboard bags and snowboarding gloves will thus be part of the repertoire of Billabong, which expects a 4 percent sales boost from the acquisition. Rob Kaplan, who founded DaKine, will remain part of the management and stay at the company’s headquarters in Maui, Hawaii. Billabong also acquired a brand of longboards, Sector 9, a few weeks ago. Two other companies, Xcel and Tigerlily, were bought earlier this year. Other companies owned by Billabong include Element, Kustom, Nixon, Von Zipper, Honolua Surf Company and Palmers Surf.
For the last fiscal year, sales rose for the Australian company by 10 percent to 1.35 billion Australian dollars (€778.2m-$1,125.5m). This would have been an increase of 18 percent in constant currencies. Net profit was up by 5 percent to A$176.4 million (€101.7m-$147.1m). This translates to an increase of 13 percent in constant currencies, which would have been 19 percent excluding a one-off tax benefit of A$7.8 million for the previous fiscal year.
Billabong attributed the improvements to continuing strength on the teenage market despite an overall weakened economy, and its success in selling at higher prices. The company said that orders are up in the mid-teens in Europe, in double digits in the Americas and in the single digits in Australasia.
In constant currency terms, sales in Europe grew by 20.3 percent in the past year to €191.0 million on double-digit growth in Germany and Italy, offsetting declines at wholesale in the U.K. Sales were up by 16.1 percent to $557.1 million n the Americas, and by 18.1 percent in Australasia to A$412.7 million (€237.9m-$344.1m).
Meanwhile Jean-Louis Rodrigues has left as general manager of O’Neill for Southern Europe to fill a new position at Billabong as European retail manager. The establishment of single-brand stores has served the brand well in markets such as France and Spain. Billabong ended the last financial year with 53 stores in Europe, compared with 34 at the end of the last fiscal year. There are 86 in the Americas versus 59, and 103 currently compared with 66 in Australasia.