Adairs cops fine over breach

AdairsBedding retailer Adairs has copped a $66,000 infringement notice from the corporate regulator after allegedly breaching its disclosure obligations in the lead up to its November trading update last year.

Adairs told the market on Thursday afternoon that it had reached an agreement with ASIC to pay the fee without admitting liability.

“It is fundamental to the integrity of the market that listed entities disclose market sensitive earnings surprises immediately,” said ASIC commissioner Cathie Armour.

Adairs November 2 trading update last year revised its FY17 LFL sales growth guidance from “mid-single digits” to “low single digits” and reduced its total sales and gross margin targets.

ASIC alleges that by 23 September 2016, Adairs became aware that its forecast figures for EBITDA, EBIT and NPAT for the full financial year 2017 would be materially lower than the market consensus.

The period was part of what CEO Mark Ronan, who was COO at the time, has repeatedly dubbed a poor first-half, which was followed by much stronger trading in preceding months.

Adairs said that it takes its continuous disclosure obligations seriously, and is “committed to keeping its shareholders and the market fully informed”.

Ronan told the market on Wednesday afternoon that year-to-date LFL sales were up 13 per cent to October 15 leading the retailer to upgrade its guidance for FY18 after experiencing the bumper start to the financial year.

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