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Oz retailer Booktopia pauses trading on ASX

Australia’s largest online bookseller Booktopia has issued a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on Monday asking it to pause trading “pending the release of an announcement” to shareholders.

It added that the announcement would centre around further outcomes from a strategic review that commenced in February, including “its progress in seeking additional funding.”

It noted that it was seeking the voluntary suspension as the issue of the additional funding has “not progressed to the extent where it is capable of making an announcement.”

Hence, it added that it was seeking a pause on the trading of its shares on the ASX from Monday, June 17, to the commencement of trade on Friday, June 21.

The strategic review in February was initiated after its revenue dropped 21 per cent to $86.3m for the second half of 2023.

The company’s net loss between July and December was $16.7m, with net liabilities of more than $20m.

Booktopia’s chief executive David Nenke tendered his resignation earlier this month with immediate effect, just over a year after taking the top job. The move forced board member and co-founder Tony Nash to step in to steady the company.

The company also reportedly laid off 50 staff. Chief financial officer Fiona Levens resigned on May 15.

In February, Booktopia announced it had reduced its sales aspirations by between $1m and $3m based on existing market conditions. This month, it withdrew that guidance altogether.

“With this decline in revenue and with the organisational restructure about to be implemented, the company is no longer in a position to provide guidance and withdraws the guidance provided to the market in its announcement made on 9 February 2024,” a company statement said.

Booktopia chairman, Peter George, said the 50 jobs which were axed at its Rhodes headquarters in Sydney would result in $6.1m annualised cost savings, which would be realised in 2025 and assist with the company’s restructure.

“The sustained volatility of the economic climate, in addition to changing consumer spending behaviours, have continued to contribute to business results that have been below our expectations,” George said in a statement issued earlier this month, reported The Guardian.



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