The Courier-Mail

QUIK­SIL­VER STRUG­GLING TO KEEP AFLOAT

- JANE HARPER

STRUG­GLING surf group Quik­sil­ver is re­port­edly seek­ing a buyer to help keep its head above wa­ter.

The chain, which was founded in Torquay on Vic­to­ria’s coast, has floun­dered on the back of dis­ap­point­ing sales.

Quik­sil­ver, which is now based in Cal­i­for­nia and listed on the US stock ex­change, is un­der­stood to have been hold­ing talks with po­ten­tial buy­ers.

The brand rode high on a surfer and skate­board­ing craze in the 1990s and early 2000s, and spon­sored big name play­ers in­clud­ing Tony Hawk and Kelly Slater. A move away from surfer fash­ion and rapid ex­pan­sion saw the com­pany strug­gle to com­pete with fast-fash­ion giants such as H&M.

Last year the chain suf­fered a 13 per cent drop in sales, and chalked up a net loss of $US309.4 mil­lion ($442.6 mil­lion).

Un­til re­cently it was a sim­i­lar story with its ri­val Gold Coast-based Bil­l­abong.

Last week Bil­l­abong re­ported its first re­turn to profit since 2011. The com­pany chalked up a net profit of $4.2 mil­lion for the year to June, bounc­ing back from a $233.7 mil­lion loss the pre­vi­ous year.

Bil­l­abong went through a ma­jor up­heaval in 2013 af­ter be­ing at the cen­tre of a drawn-out takeover tus­sle that stretched on for 18 months.

But the group, which re­mains listed on the Aus­tralian Se­cu­ri­ties Ex­change, said last week its strat­egy to fo­cus on the core brands Bil­l­abong, El­e­ment and RVCA, and stream­line its store net­work and sup­ply chain, was pay­ing off.

 ?? Pic­ture: Tim Mars­den ?? TOUGH ACT: Mick Fan­ning in ac­tion at the 2015 Quik­sil­ver/Roxy Pro at Snap­per Rocks.
Pic­ture: Tim Mars­den TOUGH ACT: Mick Fan­ning in ac­tion at the 2015 Quik­sil­ver/Roxy Pro at Snap­per Rocks.

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