Hound Dog, the Sydney-based surf and streetwear label launched with a former model at its helm, is up for sale following a disastrous financial dive. An administrator has been appointed to the chain, which lost $1.2m in the nine months to March and has total debts of $4.3m.

The administrator, Ron Dean-Willcocks, said yesterday he was appointed by Hound Dog owner Vicky Bobrovizki last week after she realised the extent of the problem.

"She had the commercial common sense to call us in at a time when something could be done," he said.

Despite its debts, Hound Dog was "quite saveable" and will continue to trade as normal. But jobs are expected to go as part of a review of the company's operations, Mr Dean-Willcocks said.

Hound Dog currently employs more than 150 people at its 21 stores in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia, and a manufacturing facility in Alexandria. The first store was opened in 1990 by then husband-and-wife team Elli and Vicky Bobrovizki and its product range was limited to surfwear.

Most Hound Dog customers are aged between 18 and 24. Mr Dean-Willcocks said he was still trying to determine the exact reasons for Hound Dog's dismal financial results "but it appears there's been a reduction in turnover". "There's nothing that jumps out at this stage, [the reduced turnover] is just in keeping with the market generally," he said.

"The company traded profitably until June 2000 and then reduced turnover and lost $1.2m in the nine months to March this year."