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Billabong brand deemed worthless

Atomare Aufruestung | Getty Images

Billabong has posted annual results showing that its core brand is now worthless as losses more than trebled, closing off a horrible year for the Australian surfwear group.

Massive impairment charges and write downs totaling almost A$870 million saw Billabong report a full-year loss of A$859.5 million, sending its shares down as much as 16 percent in Tuesday morning trading. That compared with a loss of A$275.6 million for the previous year.

(Read more: Billabong shares plummet after takeover talks end)

Even before the impairments on goodwill, the value of brands and other intangibles, profits were hit by weak trading and store closures. Adjusted profit from the normal operation of the business was just A$7.7 million, down 77.1 percent from the previous year on sales that were down 13.5 percent to A$1.34 billion.

The struggling company has been the subject of a string of takeover and refinancing proposals since early 2012. Dealing with these has cost it A$23 million in banking and consultancy fees.

Ian Pollard, chairman, said on Tuesday that the company was "within weeks" of finalizing long term financing after a long battle between potential and current investors and lenders. Last week, Billbong signed an exclusive agreement with a consortium led by private equity group Altamont Capital.

(Read more: Billabong shares sink after offer cut to $300 million)

"We are nearing the end of a long process that has caused distraction, impacted on staff morale and has been very costly," said Mr Pollard. "The company looks forward to refocusing, reinvigorating its brands and rebuilding the business on a solid, long term financial footing."

More from the Financial Times:

Billabong shares rise on refinancing talk
Billabong tumbles as takeover talks end
Funds seek review of Billabong deal

Billabong said that long periods of negotiations and repeated rounds of due diligence with different parties had restricted its operations and its ability to enact many parts of its turnround plan during the year.

The company replaced its chief executive of little more than a year, Launa Inman, in July. Over the past 12 months it has seen four directors depart, and another has announced his retirement.

The poor performance of the business has meant a big decline in the value of a number of its brands and retail businesses.

(Read more: Australia's Billabong receives $556 million takeover offer)

Billabong, Element, Palmers, Beachculture and Amazon all have had their brand value written down to zero, while the carrying values of goodwill for the company's retail operations in Australia, North America and Europe have also been cut to zero.

Billabong shares were down 10.6 percent at 50.5 Australian cents midday in Sydney.

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