Downgrades earnings forecast.

Godfreys has welcomed Jason Gowie (pictured) to the role of CEO, effective 4 December, 2017 and he will join the board as an executive director. Current managing director, John Hardy will remain with the business on a part-time basis, and will assist with product innovation.

Gowie joins Godfreys with 25 years of experience in management and sales roles in the financial services, retail and health sectors.

Godfreys board director, Brendan Fleiter has been elected as the new chairman to replace Rod Walker, effective 1 January, 2018. Walker recently announced his intention to retire at the end of this calendar year.

Fleiter has been a member of the board since November 2014 and chairman of the company’s audit and risk management committee and a member of the remuneration and nomination committee. Outgoing chair, Rod Walker said that he is well positioned to navigate Godfreys through its next phase of growth and development.

Kathy Gramp and Penny Burke join Godfreys as non-executive directors from 1 January, 2018.Gramp has significant experience across a range of sectors including media, health, property, technology, finance, tourism, government, education and primary industry. She previously held roles at Austereo, including as chief financial officer and company secretary.

Burke has a 30 year executive career in strategy, brand and marketing and is an experience non-executive director having held a variety of board positions over the past 15 years. In the past 13 years, she has built a successful brand, research and marketing consultancy, Essence Communications, which undertakes strategic research and provides communications advice.

Trading update

The conversion program will now be slowed further than initially expected as the company continues its focus on improving its core business to maximise the sale value of future franchise conversions.

Only two or three store conversions are now expected in FY18 contributing between $0.5 million and $1 million of EBITDA, compared with initial expectations of more than 15 store conversions with an EBITDA contribution of approximately $4.5 million. This compares with 22 store conversions in FY17 with an EBITDA contribution of $5.7 million, including $5.3 million from initial franchise fees.

As a result of this change, FY18 EBITDA is expected to be $3.5 million to $4 million lower. Like-for-like sales during October and November were volatile and weaker than expected, but the company expects like-for-like sales performance to improve over the Christmas and New Year trading period.