Funtastic names new CEO to lead recovery

Struggling toy wholesaler Funtastic has announced Britax Childcare managing director David Jackson as its new chief executive as it seeks to turn its fortunes around.

Mr Jackson, a former chief executive at appliance maker Sunbeam Corporation as well as Escor Group, will join Funtastic on May 2 on a fixed pay packet of $450,000.

He fills the role made vacant by the resignation of former chief executive Steven Leighton in January.

Funtastic told the ASX on Monday that Mr Jackson had a track record in “steering organisations through rapidly changing and increasingly competitive markets,” and “getting the basics of business right”.

Last month the Tech Deck, Razor scooter and Orbeez retailer posted a 42.6 per cent decline in first-half revenue to $16.1 million following the end of its Spinmaster and Leapfrog contracts and the closure of Toys’R’Us.

Profit slipped to $14.3 million – even after NAB wrote off $15.7 million of debt during the period – while second-half margins will again likely be lower than expected due to delays in the Chill Factor and Pillow Pets ranges.

Funtastic said it is banking on merchandise associated with this year’s new Toy Story movie to help slow its revenue slide.

Shares in Funtastic were flat a 4.2 cents at 1150 AEST on Monday, down from 12.5 cents a year ago.


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