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Surf’s up — beach gear designer Billabong sees brand value collapse

Billabong, the Australian-based beach clothing and gear maker, has seen the value of brand decline by hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years. .
Billabong, the Australian-based beach clothing and gear maker, has seen the value of brand decline by hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years. . Getty Images

SYDNEY, Australia – Billabong reported a $769 million annual loss Tuesday that reflects a collapse in the value of its once hot surf and street fashion brands.

The company said it marked down the value of its assets by Australian dollars 867 million ($776 million). That write-off resulted in a net loss of AU$859.5 million ($769 million) for the financial year ended June 30.

The company has staggered through a series of business shake-ups and failed buyout offers. It says it is in the final stages of debt refinancing negotiations that will allow the business to rebuild.

Billabong’s global sales for the year fell 13 per cent to AU$1.34 billion reflecting store closures, Europe’s weak economy and the fading allure of its brands.

The Billabong and other brands owned by the retailer were valued at AU$90 million in the company’s financial statements released Tuesday, down from AU$614 million two years earlier.

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The company’s shares closed down 5.3 per cent in Sydney.