Funtastic’s CEO to go


FuntasticToy distributor Funtastic has halved its earnings forecast and announced the departure of its CEO.

Funtastic blamed its earnings downgrade on weaker than expected sales and slow roll out of a new slushy maker in north America.

It cut its full year earnings forecast to between $10 million and $12 million, down from its previous guidance of $19 million to $23 million.

The downgrade coincided with news of the departure of CEO Stewart Downs, who will be replaced by fellow Board member Neil Pizmony.

Shares in Funtastic were 0.9 of a cent, or 13 per cent, lower at six cents by 1357 AEST.

In an attempt to improve its earnings, Funtastic plans to cut back on excess stock, which will reduce the value of its inventory by between $3 million and $6 million.

The company, which distributes brands including Ben10 and Pillow Pets, said its Australian business had improved due to new product launches, but was still suffering from softer than expected sales.

In the US and Canada, sales of the company’s Chill Factor slushy maker have been slower than expected, due in part to cooler than average weather.

Funtastic said its board remained confident its strategy to own and develop its own brands was the right strategy for the company.

It also said the sale of its Madman business, which distributes DVDs and Blu Ray products, and manages rights for films and television programs, should be completed by the end of July.

Downs will leave the company on July 31, after five years with Funtastic and the finalisation of the sale of Funtastic’s film and television business.


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