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Quiksilver’s on a Roll: Earnings Climb

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Quiksilver Inc., the trendy surf-wear company, Tuesday reported sharply higher earnings and sales for its fiscal year ended Oct. 31.

The Newport Beach-based apparel firm reported that its net income rose 36% to $9.5 million, up from $7 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 29% to $91.2 million, up from $70.7 million in fiscal 1989.

Randall L. Herrel, Quiksilver’s chief financial officer, said the firm considers the financial results “outstanding for this kind of economy.”

Company officials credited the improved financial performance to strong sales throughout the company’s 2,000 surf shops, speciality stores and at selected department stores. The company’s growth was helped by the introduction of some new apparel items, such as a line of Quiksilver jeans.

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“We sustained all of our growth by staying in core businesses,” Herrel said.

Quiksilver is best known as the originator of the neon-colored surfwear fad. But the firm has continued to thrive even as the demand for fluorescent yellows, oranges and reds faded with changes in style. The company’s hottest-selling items are shirts, many of which are emblazoned with Quiksilver’s distinctive logo. The company has increased sales of fleece-lined sweat pants, part of a broadening of the line to increase sales in winter and fall, he said.

And Quiksilver is introducing its first line of women’s swimwear for the summer fashion season. “That represents a major market for us,” Herrel said.

The company also reported a strong fourth quarter despite the economic downturn that has gripped much of the clothing industry. Fourth-quarter net income was up 18% to $1.9 million, compared to $1.6 million last year. Sales increased 17% to $18.6 million, compared to $15.9 million in 1989.

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