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Conn’s names former Sears exec as new chief


The Woodlands, Texas – Conn’s Inc. named a new CEO as part of a planned succession, and also announced it beat Wall Street expectations for profit in the second quarter.

Following a year-long repositioning initiative, Conn’s has appointed Norman Miller to serve as CEO and president.

Miller brings more than 30 years of business leadership experience, most recently serving as president of Sears Automotive, and as president and COO of DFC Global Corp.

He also has held progressive management and leadership roles at Aramark, Nestle, Kraft and Pepsi. Miller will also be elected to Conn’s board.

As CEO, Miller will work with senior management and the board to develop strategies to further strengthen Conn’s strategic position, including strengthening oversight of its credit and risk function.

Miller succeeds Theodore M. Wright, who will remain on the Conn’s board as executive chairman.

Conn’s beat Wall Street expectations for profit in the second quarter of fiscal 2015 despite posting net income of $16.5 million, down 7% from $17.7 million the same quarter the previous fiscal year. Legal and professional fees, as well as costs related to store closures and relocations, dampened profits.

Total net sales grew 13% to $324.95 million from $288.28 million. Same-store sales rose 3.1%, with negative impact from Conn’s exit from selling video games, digital cameras and some tablets.

During fiscal 2016, Conn’s expects same store sales ranging from flat to low-single-digit growth and is reaffirming plans to open 15 to 18 new stores, with no closures.

In other fiscal news, Conn’s has entered into an agreement to securitize $1.4 billion of retail installment contract receivables, with an expected Sept. 10 closing. The retailer also authorized the repurchase of up to $75 million of outstanding common stock or senior notes. Also, upon closing of the securitization transaction, Conn’s will terminate a shareholder’s rights plan it initiated in 2014 that made it difficult for any one entity to control a large portion of the company by buying stock.

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