By Matthew Henry & Sarah Falson

BAYSWATER: Clive Peeters chief operating officer, Stephen Hamilton, resigned today following what has been termed ‘mutual discussions’ in an announcement made by the retailer’s managing director, Greg Smith.

Clive Peeters executives were unavailable for comment today but Smith offered a brief statement to the Australian Stock Exchange explaining that Hamilton had tendered his resignation with immediate effect.

The publicly-listed Victorian electrical retailer has not announced a replacement for Smith, who headed-up a major growth period for the retailer over the last two years.

“Following Stephen’s resignation, the board will over the coming weeks consider all management restructuring alternatives before a final decision is made on the appointment of a replacement chief operating officer,” said Smith in the statement.

“We thank Stephen for his contribution during the time he has been with us and wish him well in his future endeavours.”

The company has recently undertaken what it has called an “aggressive expansion program” beginning with a $15 million expansion into Western Australia last year.

The company has made seven acquisitions, which includes 22 stores, in the last 18 months, including the Bunbury Betta Electrical store this month, three Myer Megamart stores in Sydney in Belrose, Auburn and Casula, the Rick Hart Group in Western Australia and the Michael King store in Victoria in September 2005, the Mornington Bulk store in Victoria, and three Betta Electrical stores in Victoria.

It recorded strong profit growth of 51.7 per cent or $9 million for the half-year ending 31 December 2006, as a result of “increased margin and reduced operating costs,” said Smith.