Billabong slumps to $537m six-month loss

Troubled surfwear retailer Billabong has posted a $537 million first half loss and downgraded its expectations for underlying earnings in the full year.

The company also said it was continuing discussions with two parties that have made takeover offers for the company, and due diligence was scheduled to conclude at the end of March.

Billabong's net loss in the six months to December 31 compares to a $16.1 million profit in the previous corresponding period.

The result included $567 million in impairments to the company's brands and value, most of which was not in cash terms, Billabong said.

Sales revenue fell in the period as conditions remained difficult, particularly in Europe, it said in a statement on Friday.

The company now expects its underlying earnings in the year to June 30 to be between $74 million and $85 million, down from its previous guidance of $85 million to $92 million.

Billabong began a company-wide restructure in August 2012 and has since closed 119 stores and significantly reduced its supplier numbers.

"However, given the lead times, the benefits from reduction in supplier numbers and brand improvement strategies will not be seen in this financial year," chief executive Launa Inman said in a statement.

No interim dividend will be paid.

In January, the company received a new joint takeover bid from US retailer VF Corporation - owner of The North Face and Timberland outdoor clothing brands - and investment firm Altamont Capital Partners.

The $523 million offer matches an offer received in December from the Sycamore consortium led by US-based Billabong executive Paul Naude.

The offer from VF is the sixth takeover bid Billabong has received in nearly 12 months.

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