By James Wells

BRISBANE: Betta Stores Limited (BSL) has taken the unusual step of issuing a press release re-affirming that the employment contract of CEO, Guy Houghton, has been extended for the next three years, which is effective 1 January 2006.

In a statement issued to the Newcastle Stock Exchange this morning titled ‘Focus Continues as Top Executives Extend Contracts’, BSL chairman, Patrick Tynan, explained that there was concern throughout the electrical industry about Houghton’s commitment to the retail group even though he re-signed his employment agreement with the retailer earlier this year.

“On 3 May, 2006 the company announced that its CEO, Guy Houghton, had resigned from a number of directorships which he held for subsidiaries of BSL to allow him to focus on the core business of franchising in his capacity of CEO,” the statement said.

“There appears to have been some confusion caused by this announcement, in particular concerns as to the commitment of the CEO to the company which the Board believes require clarification. The change was implemented for the reasons stated in the initial release of allowing Mr Houghton to focus in his role as CEO of all the BSL Group of companies without the distraction of fulfilling directorship roles on 13 subsidiary entity boards.

“Mr Houghton remains committed to the company and its strategic objectives and has recently renewed his employment contract with the company for a further three year period commencing 1 January, 2006,” the statement said.

“The resignation was from the boards of subsidiaries of the company only. There was no change to any other roles in which Mr Houghton undertakes for the company. He has not and does not sit on the Board of the company.”

In its statement, BSL also re-affirmed the employment of its chief financial officer, Scott McLennan.

“To ensure the company can deliver on its strategic objectives and to reduce the risk of the impact of loss of key staff, Scott McLennan, CFO of the BSL Group of Companies has entered into a two year contract with the company with effect from 1 January, 2006,” the statement said.

“The staggering of the contracts with the CEO and CFO will ensure there is continuity in the business.”