By Patrick Avenell

Clive Peeters chairman of directors Brian Pollock has used the retail group’s annual general meeting to praise the man who has overseen a 94 per cent drop in the company’s share price. Additionally, Clive Peeters announced last week a loss of $1 million for the first quarter of FY09.

Greg Smith has been at the helm of Clive Peeters since its listing, and for a while the company enjoyed a boon period – including a share price high in the $3.40s in early 2007. Since that time, the share price has plummeted to below 18 cents, but that hasn’t affected his standing in the company.

“I thank my fellow Directors for their efforts and their outstanding support over FY 2008,” said Pollock at the AGM. “A special thank you to our Managing Director Greg Smith. We are indeed fortunate to have such a hardworking, effective and professional person leading the Company in these challenging times.”

Positivism in the face of hardship was the theme of Pollock’s speech, with the chairman telling share holders that the group was in a good position before the economic crisis struck.

“The year started with great promise with a strong first half performance by the Company, only to finish on a tough note over the last three to four months of the financial year, due to deterioration in retail conditions in this industry.”

Clive Peeters’ business model, which is a contrast to the more stable JB Hi-Fi stripped bare model, was also discussed, with Pollock giving his approval.

“The Board is satisfied that the Company’s business model is sound, and that the strategy that the Board and Management have recently implemented…is the right one for the times.”

Clive Peeters was trading at 17.5 cents shortly before 3:30 this afternoon.