By James Wells

SYDNEY: Former Federal Court judge, Marcus Einfeld, has stepped down as chairman of electronics retailer, Strathfield Group, due to issues that the company referred to as “non company matters”.

Last week detectives from the State Crime Command seized a computer and an electric cord after executing a search warrant on his home in the exclusive Sydney suburb of Woollahra.

Five weeks ago, Einfeld told a magistrate that a deceased woman had borrowed his car when it was speeding in January. Two earlier incidents which involve Einfeld avoiding traffic fines are being investigated after claims that the driver was overseas when the speeding occurred.

"Marcus Einfeld has decided to step aside as chairman while he addresses non-company related matters," Strathfield said in a statement issued to the Australian Stock Exchange this afternoon.

Einfled joined the retailer in November last year.

Strathfield said today it has recorded an unaudited loss of $5.3 million for the financial year to 2 July, which is a smaller loss than the $10.8 million incurred over the previous 12 months period.

The company’s management said that the retailer is on track to return a positive net profit result after tax for the 2006-7 financial year by continuing its focus on improving profits while decreasing the business risk profile.

Strathfield will pursue its franchise model announced earlier this year, with 11 stores already committed to the program. Of these stores, five have commenced trading, with six new franchises to begin operating in the near future.

Strathfield claims that company owned stores have also improved sales.

In March, Strathfield announced plans to franchise 67 of its 87 stores, resulting in an annual cash profit of more than $10 million once the model was fully operational.

Revenue from ordinary activities for the 12 months to July 2, 2006, fell 24 per cent to $154.36 million.