Smiles Inclusive clinics reopen, CFO heads out the door

Smiles Inclusive clinics reopen, CFO heads out the door

After challenging business conditions before COVID-19 were exacerbated by the pandemic and shutdowns, Smiles Inclusive (ASX: SIL) has today reported it will be reopening all its dental centres nationwide.

But the group will be doing so without its CFO and company secretary Emma Corcoran (pictured), who has left today just a month after former CEO Tony McCormack resigned. 

Corcoran joined the Gold Coast-based company in May last year in the midst of executive in-fighting that led to founder and then chairman Mike Timoney being kicked off the board.

Management had hoped capital raisings and restructuring efforts would steer Smiles Inclusive's fortunes in the right direction, but shares were suspended from trading in March as the half-yearly reporting deadline had been missed.

According to a cash flow report for the March quarter the group - also known for its brand Totally Smiles - only had $242,000 in cash or cash equivalents left, and no unused debt facilities available.

This comes despite a capital raising for $436,000 in the quarter, and Smiles estimated it only had about 1.5 months worth of funding to its name.

"Emma served as chief financial officer and company secretary for a period before my arrival and helped the company on its transitional pathway," says new CEO Michelle Aquilina.

"Personally, I will miss Emma's knowledge and dedication. On behalf of the executive team and the board I wish Emma every success for her future."

The existing finance team is expected to provide the finance function of the business while a recruitment process is completed, and Andrew Ritter has been appointed as company secretary.

Meanwhile, the Australian Health Protection Principle Committee (AHPPC) has approved a move to Level 1 dental services, which means Smiles' clinics can reopen under the guidance of strict COVID-19 protocols.

Smiles expects patient demand will be subdued and may take time to reach normal levels.

"We are incredibly relieved the restrictions set by our government have slowed the spread of COVID-19. However, with the easing of restrictions, we can start to welcome back patients," says Aquilina.

"I'm pleased with the quick progression of our multi-faceted strategy that will not only enhance shareholder value, but also our value proposition by renewing the dental centre model.

"Totally Smiles is invested in its people for long term sustainability and growth with the immediate focus on improvement - particularly that concerned with the service levels to our existing clinicians."

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