Growing Retailer Lovisa Loses CEO

Shares in fast growing budget jewellery retailer Lovisa will be under pressure today after the company revealed after trading yesterday that CEO, Steve Doyle was quitting.

He is the second senior executive to leave in recent months after the resignation last September of chief financial officer Graeme Fallett, who left almost immediately and was eventually replaced permanently in December by former Myer general manager of finance Chris Lauder.

The shares closed up 1.5% to $10 yesterday ahead of the announcement yesterday. The shares are up 45% so far in 2018 and 179% in the past year.

The company said Mr Doyle, who joined Lovisa in November 2015 to lead the company’s overseas expansion and had been CEO since October 2016, resigned to pursue other interests.

He will depart on April 20.

In yesterday’s statement Lovisa moved quickly to reassure shareholders about current trading after the departure of a second senior executive in the space of six months.

Lovisa said Mr Doyle’s departure was not due to performance issues, saying same-store sales in the 13 weeks since December had risen 7.6% and total sales were up 20.3%.

This is in line with the 7.4% same-store sales growth and 19% jump in total sales in the December-half, when Lovisa reported a 23% rise in interim net profit to $24.8 million.

Since the end of the half-year Lovisa has opened five new stores but closed four, taking its network to 320.

Lovisa’s founder and managing director, Shane Fallscheer, who will continue to run the business, thanked Mr Doyle for his efforts. Before joining Lovisa, Mr Doyle ran Super Retail Group’s leisure business for 12 years.

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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