By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: Strathfield chief executive Gerard Frack has announced his resignation, following completion of what the company called the “first stage” of its turnaround, but the company still confirmed earnings would fall for this financial year.

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, Strathfield said Frack would be replaced by director Warwick Mirzikinian in the interim while it searches for a new chief executive. Frack will stay on as a consultant.

Reflecting the general trend in retail earnings predictions so far this year, the car audio and phone specialist also revealed it will post earnings before interest, tax, deductions and amortisation (EBITDA) of between $6.2 to $6.4 million.

The forecast is down approximately $2 million on last year, but the company board said they considered the result “to be acceptable in poor retail conditions, particularly given the low capital base and recovering balance sheet position” of the company.

Strathfield has been working to turnaround its business after it recorded losses totalling over $15 million in the period from 2003 to 2005, with $11 million of that loss posted in 2005.

In other news, Strathfield also announced an extension of its Optus contract to March 2010 and said its mobile phone division had been “performing strongly”, with further gains to be made with the arrival of the Apple iPhone.

NB: This story initially stated chairman Richard Poole would takeover as interim CEO after Gerard Frack’s departure. This statement was incorrect. Warwick Mirzikinian will take over the reins until a new CEO is found. The story has been amemded to reflect this. We apologise for any inconvenience.