JB Hi-Fi CEO To Retire
Terry Smart is to step down as CEO of the most successful tech retailers in Australia, as sales growth of 5.7% for March quarter, was announced.
Smart said it was a difficult decision to leave the company after 14 years, but will retire in August to spend more time with his family.
“JB Hi-Fi has been an incredibly important part of my life, having been involved in the growth of the company from 10 stores to the 182 stores we have today,” he said.
“After a total of nearly 30 years in retail I now look forward to spending some more time with my family.”
JB Hi-Fi Chairman Greg Richards paid tribute to Smart’s leadership during some of the most “challenging and unpredictable” years in retail.
“As CEO, Terry has driven JB HI-FI revenue from $2.7 billion to an expected $3.5 billion this year. He has continued the successful store roll-out program, taken JB Hi-Fi into the $4.6 billion home appliance market with the launch and growth of the JB Hi-Fi HOME stores, reinforced the Company’s strong online presence and overseen the launch of the JB Hi-Fi NOW digital content platform.”
Smart will be replaced by Richard Murray, who has been JB’s top number cruncher for 10 years and a director since 2010.
“JB Hi-Fi is in a strong and competitive position. We have many opportunities to grow the business as we continue the store roll out, expand JB Hi-Fi Home, further develop our online and digital platform and build our commercial and education division,” he said.
Smart said with Murray at the helm, he has “no doubt JB Hi-Fi will be in a great pair of hands.”
Nick Wells will replace Murray as Chief Financial Officer.
JB Hi-Fi also issued a trading update for its March quarter, announcing total sales up 5.7%, and like-for-like sales rose 3%.
The retailer also reaffirms FY14 guidance given on 3 February with total sales to rise 6% – 8% on the prior year; and NPAT to be in the range of $126m to $129m, an increase of 8.3% – 10.8%.
JB Hi-Fi said it maintained solid profit growth for the quarter, in line with current earnings guidance.
The retailer anticipates having a total of 22 Home appliance stores by the end of the financial year with 19 stores already converted and a further 3 stores to be converted in Q4.
“We continued to see good comparable sales growth of 3.0% in the quarter. The newly converted HOME stores, while small in number, grew sales at 12.2% post conversion, demonstrating the opportunity we have ahead in these new categories” said Smart.
Gross margin remains consistent with the first half as the retailer continues to focus on sales and gross profit growth.
In FY14 to date eight new stores have opened, with two opened in the second half.
Company shares rose to $20.8, up 0.43%, after today’s announcement.