Three-time world champion Mick Fanning celebrates at Victoria’s Bells Beach with Doug Warbrick. Picture: Getty Images
Three-time world champion Mick Fanning celebrates at Victoria’s Bells Beach with Doug Warbrick. Picture: Getty Images

Surfwear duo rides $20m perfect wave

The founders of popular surfwear brand Rip Curl, Doug Warbrick and Brian Singer, shared in a $20 million payday before their company was sold to adventurewear retailer Kathmandu.

Latest financial results for the formerly privately-owned Rip Curl also show the surfwear company was scooped up by Kathmandu just as profitability was leaping ahead.

The accounts - the last before the sale to Kathmandu - show Rip Curl declared a series of dividends over the past year, amounting to $19.6 million.

They reveal a dividend of $6 million was paid in October last year, followed by dividends of $4.55 million in December and $9.07 million in May.

Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons taking part in the Rip Curl Pro Portugal. Picture: AAP
Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons taking part in the Rip Curl Pro Portugal. Picture: AAP

Rip Curl paid total dividends of $18.37 million in 2016 and 2017.

That included a $9.19 million final dividend in 2016 and an interim dividend for 2017 of $9.19 million.

The company was founded in the Victorian coastal town of Torquay in 1969 by Mr Warbrick and Mr Singer, who were surfing friends.

It grew into a popular surfwear group designing, making and selling surfing equipment and apparel and has a presence across Australia, New Zealand, North America, Europe, South East Asia and Brazil.

Rip Curl's two founders owned 72 per cent of the business before its sale and for years have enjoyed a strong flow of dividends.

Rip Curl co-founder Doug Warbrick. Picture: Surfing Australia
Rip Curl co-founder Doug Warbrick. Picture: Surfing Australia

On October 1, they announced a deal to sell the business for $350 million to Kathmandu, which was established in Melbourne but is now based in New Zealand albeit with a listing on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Kathmandu bought the brand at a good time, with profit momentum building.

Rip Curl posted a profit of $15.2 million from continuing operations for the past financial year, up from $9.69 million in 2018.

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During the year it sold part of its Indonesian business.

The net profit for 2019 was $13.54 million.

Revenue for the year increased to $478.2 million, from $459.2 million in 2018.

Rip Curl said in its accounts that there were encouraging signs from its owner store network in Australia and sales from its online platforms.

Restructure and reorganisation costs of $5.1 million were also booked the past year.

The Australian



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