Billabong has recorded its first profit in three years

Photo: Spencer Platt/ Getty.

Australian surfwear company Billabong posted its first profit in three years, reporting a net profit of $25.7 million for the six months to December 31, 2014.

In the same period a year earlier, it recorded a loss of $126.3 million.

In August CEO Neil Fiske hinted that Billabong’s turnaround strategy, implemented in December 2013, had been making strong improvements to the company’s balance sheet.

While Billabong sales in the US were up 9.5%, the group’s biggest market, Fiske said the company now needs to focus on its “universal progress”.

Sales in the Asia Pacific region were down 4.5%, partly due an overall weak Christmas trading. Fiske said the result reinforced the need to move to an omni-channel strategy in both the local market and globally.

“Having recently regained 100% ownership of our branded ecommerce sites in Australia and Europe, we are now able to include these important assets in our omni platform plans. We will accelerate the transformation of our retail fleet in Asia-Pacific from a brick and mortar operation onto a true omni-channel model that allows customers to seamlessly shop across all channels,” he said.

The staged roll-out will start in Australia mid-2016, and is expected to drive two to three times the sales of retail or ecommerce only customers.

So far the strategy has seen an overall $3.2 million reduction in costs for the half compared with the previous corresponding period on a constant currency basis.

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