Boss quits as Pacific Brands posts $451m loss

Struggling clothing and footwear company Pacific Brands has announced that its chief executive is stepping down after five years in the role.

Sue Morphet will resign next month and will be replaced by former Foster's head John Pollaers, who will take over on September 3.

Pacific Brands, which includes the Bonds, Berlei, Dunlop, Clarks, King Gee and Hard Yakka clothing and footwear brands among many others, has also announced an annual loss of nearly $451 million for the 2012 financial year due to write-downs totalling $503 million.

That is more than three times larger than last year's loss of $132 million.

The loss expanded on the back of an 18 per cent fall in sales, which slid to $1.32 billion.

However, it says its earnings before interest and tax excluding the write-downs was $129 million, in line with previous guidance of a $125m to $130m result.

Company chairman Peter Bush said Ms Morphet had shown determination and leadership faced with "remarkable challenges" as she oversaw the company's restructure in her five-year tenure.

"There are probably few sectors of the Australian economy that have been more affected by the remarkable and volatile conditions since the global financial crisis, and probably no other CEO that's faced a tougher job than Sue has in her tenure," he said.

Mr Pollaers says he sees potential for growth in a tough retail environment.

"I couldn't really comment on the nature of divestments.

All I would say is that in any well-run business, you have a small rather than a greater number of brands that you give the majority of the attention to and the focus should be on growing those brands," he said.

"The Bonds business, the Berlei business, the Sheridan business, the Workwear business, they're certainly some very clear areas for focus."

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