By Paul Hayes
MELBOURNE, VIC: Australian discount retailer Clive Peeters announced this morning that it has entered into a trading halt pending the outcome of discussions with financiers.
The company said it anticipates the halt to remain in place until it makes an announcement at the commencement of normal trading on Friday 21 May.
News of the discussions with financiers comes little more than two weeks after the troubled whitegoods retailer significantly reduced its latest sales forecast in the wake of five consecutive interest rate rises and post-stimulus consumer belt tightening.
In its report for the half year ended 31 December 2009, Clive Peeters said it was expecting to post an unaudited net operating loss of $4.5 million for the three months January to March 2010.
To rub salt in the wounds, in addition to the falling sales figures being experienced by most local retailers, Clive Peeters was faced with the added burden of $20 million fraud at the hands of a trusted employee.
After a peak of 70 cents in October last year, the negative results saw the company’s shares plummet to 10.5 cents on 7 May, before rallying slightly to close at 15 cents last night.
Clive Peeters managing director, Greg Smith, was unavailable for comment about the trading halt when contacted by Current.com.au, but any comments will be posted as they come to hand.