Billabong brand ‘is worthless’ say owners

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SURF wear firm Billabong has seen its annual losses more than treble after slashing the value of its namesake brand to zero

The Australian group, formed in 1973 by surfer Gordon Merchant, has closed 158 underperforming stores in a bid to turn its fortunes around, and chairman Ian Pollard said it was just weeks away from finalising a crucial debt restructuring to put it on a firmer financial footing.

He added: “We are nearing the end of a long process that has caused distraction, impacted on staff morale and has been very costly.”

Losses for the year to June swelled to A$859.5 million (£495.8m), from A$275.6m the previous year, after taking A$867.2m in writedowns.

As well as writing off the value of the Billabong label, the group said its Element skate board brand – which sponsors Jackass star Bam Margera – was also worthless.

Sales fell 13.5 per cent to A$1.3bn, reflecting store closures in the Americas and Australasia, and “extremely challenging” economic conditions across Europe.

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