52-week high! ASX All Ords stock surges 5% as chair steps down

Investors are shopping for Adairs shares after an announced leadership change.

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The All Ordinaries (ASX: XAO) stock Adairs Ltd (ASX: ADH) has seen its share price jump 5% after the chair's resignation. This gain meant the company reached a 52-week high.

It has been an extraordinary recovery for the ASX retail share in recent times, doubling from where it was on 27 October 2023.

Chair resignation

The operator of Adairs, Mocka and Focus on Furniture has announced that non-executive chair Brett Chenoweth has tendered his resignation from the board, effective 22 March 2024, which is less than two weeks away.

According to Adairs, Chenoweth explained that his decision "reflects his desire to concentrate on his other corporate responsibilities, with particular focus on chair and board roles across the digital infrastructure and media sectors."

Management comments

The Adairs CEO Mark Ronan said:

On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Brett for his substantial contribution to Adairs over the past 4 years. He has been a pleasure to work with and a valuable partner to both myself and the organisation during his time as chair.

Who will be the new chair of the ASX All Ords stock?

Adairs said it will commence a search for a new chair.

In the meantime, non-executive director Kate Spargo will serve as the interim non-executive chair. Spargo has been an independent company director for 20 years across a variety of sectors including infrastructure, construction and engineering, energy, financial services, building product manufacturing and health services.

Spargo has been a director of Adairs since May 2015. She is also a director of Sigma Healthcare Ltd (ASX: SIG) and Sonic Healthcare Ltd (ASX: SHL).

Recent trading

The latest update from the ASX All Ords stock was with the FY24 first-half result where it said sales for weeks 27 to 34 were down 9.6% for the overall business. Looking at the individual segments, Mocka sales were up 4%, Focus on Furniture sales were down 14.1% and Adairs sales were down 9.5%.

Adairs said customer traffic is still "significantly lower" than last year, with consumers remaining value-orientated. It revealed that customer conversation declines "notably" when offers are reduced.

However, there was a material decline in sales in May 2023, so management expects the comparative sales performance will improve in the second half of FY24. It's focused on managing its gross profit margin, maximising sales conversion and managing its cost of doing business (CODB).

Initiatives for growth include product ranging, supply chain improvements, the Adairs-operated national distribution centre, CODB management and store rollout.

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Adairs. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Adairs. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Sonic Healthcare. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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