OROTON'S SHARE PRICE IN FREE FALL AFTER 'UNACCEPTABLE' PROFIT DOWNGRADE

OROTON'S SHARE PRICE IN FREE FALL AFTER 'UNACCEPTABLE' PROFIT DOWNGRADE

SHARES in fashion retailer Oroton (ASX: ORL) have plunged more than 20 per cent in today's trade after announcing its full year earnings will be down around $10 million on the previous year.

Oroton released its update before the market opened on Wednesday after requesting a trading halt on Monday ahead of the announcement, which interim CEO Ross Lane describes as "unacceptable".

Its shares hit an 18-year low of $1.05 at around 12.30pm AEST. ORL shares were at $9.20 in February 2011.

"Challenging conditions experienced across the retail market in April 2017 with low consumer confidence and a competitive market, has meant the group's April mid-season sales were below management's expectations and reflected a further decline from that seen in the first half," Lane says.

The company says the "poor and competitive" market conditions will further adversely affect financial performance for the remainder of FY17.

It says it will be difficult to forecast full year earnings but predicts underlying EBITDA for FY17 to be between $2 million and $3 million, down approximately $10 million on the prior corresponding period.

The earnings downgrade follows the resignation last month of CEO Mark Newman, who stood down after the company recorded a 52 per cent drop in first half profits to $1.8 million.

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