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: : Jul-Dec 2003

Restaurants doing it tough. Australians are dining out more and spending more but restaurants, especially in New South Wales, are still doing it tough, according to a report. .... [more] 14 Dec, 2003
Caltex dealers seek QC advice. Hundreds of Caltex franchisees left out in the cold by the oil giant's deal with Woolworths will decide today whether to take legal action over their plight. .... [more] 4 Dec, 2003
Brumby's ready to list on Bendigo exchange. Bakery franchise operator Brumby's is set to list on the Bendigo Stock Exchange tomorrow as it begins a five-year expansion plan that will increase the number of its stores across Australia and New Zealand by up to 80 per cent. .... [more] 4 Dec, 2003
Australian Caltex-Woolworths alliance draws wrath of franchises. Caltex petrol station franchise operators are reportedly poised to take legal action against the company as a result of its co-branded alliance with retailer Woolworths. .... [more] 4 Dec, 2003
Singing a different tune. Tired of playing second fiddle to the likes of John Farnham and Kate Ceberano, Jenny Wilkinson bought a franchise that teaches music to pre-schoolers nearly 10 years ago and now she plays any instrument she likes. .... [more] 2 Dec, 2003
Gerry Harvey's pay to be doubled. Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd shareholders voted in favour of doubling chief executive Gerry Harvey's earnings packet to $500,000. .... [more] 25 Nov, 2003
Harvey Norman 'fails' governance. A comprehensive study of corporate governance at the top 250 listed companies has found that while many talk the talk, few are walking the more stringent standards since the collapse of One.Tel, HIH, Harris Scarfe and US energy giant Enron. .... [more] 10 Nov, 2003
Franchise lobby fracas. Moves to establish a lobby group for franchisees have been thrown into confusion by a family dispute over who coined the idea. .... [more] 4 Nov, 2003
Norman feasts as Woolies hits mark. Serial stock market investor Gerry Harvey yesterday revealed he had picked up several million dollars worth of shares in Woolworths as the supermarket giant hit its first-quarter sales target and talked up a promising Christmas season. .... [more] 28 Oct, 2003
Gerry, Katie target $21m share deal. Harvey Norman Holdings chief Gerry Harvey will double his pay packet if shareholders approve a proposal to be put forward at the retailer's annual meeting next month. .... [more] 24 Oct, 2003
Harvey au go go. Go Harvey, go Harvey, go Harvey Norman, go! Now that you've got that irritating jingle in your head for the day. .... [more] 24 Oct, 2003
Float music to Harvey's ears. Retailer and investor Gerry Harvey has emerged as one of the many backers of JB Hi-Fi's $150 million float, and is already reaping the benefits as the stock shattered its issue price on the Australian Stock Exchange yesterday. .... [more] 24 Oct, 2003
Harvey bucks salary cap. Senior executives of Harvey Norman are in line for big pay increases under a new remuneration policy to be unveiled by the retailer this week amid rising concerns over companies' remuneration practices. .... [more] 20 Oct, 2003
Franchise cleans up at awards. John and Jenny Brown cleaned up at the recent Electrodry conference on the Gold Coast. .... [more] 17 Oct, 2003
Retailer laps up a sales bonanza. Harvey Norman showed yesterday its days as a growth stock are far from over with the retailer pulling out unexpectedly strong sales in the first quarter. .... [more] 14 Oct, 2003
It's 'Go Harvey, go' as sales soar. Sales of digital cameras, new-generation mobile phones and computer laptops helped fuel a surprisingly strong 22 per cent jump in first-quarter sales at Harvey Norman stores, raising investors' hopes of a higher full-year profit. .... [more] 14 Oct, 2003
Harvey Norman team set for 'wonderful' deal. Three months after institutional investors short-circuited Gerry Harvey's plan to cut the exercise price of Harvey Norman executive options, the chairman of the franchise retailer has formulated a new share plan to reward senior staff. .... [more] 8 Oct, 2003
Eating fresh brings franchise rewards. Jim Ainsworth has been “eating fresh” for more than three years and it has paid off, with the North East Subway franchisee named the Franchisee of the Year. .... [more] 7 Oct, 2003
Franchise boom sign of the time. Franchise business is booming with growth rates around 9 per cent and the survival rate far outstripping independent start-up small businesses, latest figures show. .... [more] 28 Sep, 2003
Sam's turns up heat in kitchen. Queensland fishmonger Sam's Seafood Holdings is set to open 20 fast food franchises in Australia over the next year before expanding into London and New York. .... [more] 27 Sep, 2003
Brambles CEO resigns. Brambles Industries chief executive Sir C.K. Chow has quit his position, leaving chief financial officer David Turner to step up to the top job. .... [more] 26 Sep, 2003
Brazin turns up volume on local retail plans. Music and lingerie retailer Brazin will spend $10 million expanding its local retail presence after making a killing on the sale of its British music business. .... [more] 23 Sep, 2003

Revamped Harvey rides out travel woes. If you are running a travel company, the past few years have been more than a little testing. .... [more] 18 Sep, 2003
ABC Learning on acquisition alert. Child care centre operator ABC Learning will top up its burgeoning war chest with bank debt to fund its aggressive acquisition strategy over the next two years as it consolidates its position as one of the largest operators in Australia. .... [more] 15 Sep, 2003
Breaking free of takeover. A confident BreakFree has boasted to its shareholders it has fought off the advances of aggressive takeover suitor S8 Ltd. .... [more] 15 Sep, 2003
Record year for Harvey Norman. Harvey Norman Holdings expects further sales gains this year after the furniture and electrical retailer posted a record annual earnings result on Friday. .... [more] 13 Sep, 2003
ABC Learning in NSW growth spurt. Australia's biggest child-care company ABC Learning Centres yesterday placed a further piece in its growth puzzle with the purchase of 40 child-care centres, mainly in metropolitan Sydney. .... [more] 10 Sep, 2003
Golden goal in sight for Cash Converters. Second-hand goods seller and pawnbroker Cash Converters International is predicting a bright future after turning around a previous heavy loss to post a net profit of $2.8 million for 2002-03. .... [more] 9 Sep, 2003
Brumby's in $2.6m share buyback. Brisbane-based bakery franchise Brumby's yesterday announced the $2.6 million buyback of nearly a quarter of the company's shares from major shareholder Burns Philp. .... [more] 5 Sep, 2003
Chow for chop on Chep? Brambles chief executive Sir C.K. Chow may lose his final lifeline as concerns mount that cost blowouts in the Chep USA pallet business will require the company to slash earnings forecasts for the sixth time in two years. .... [more] 5 Sep, 2003
S8 to take BreakFree case to Takeovers Panel. Resort manager S8 Ltd will appeal to the Takeovers Panel today to allow its bidder's statement to be released after its target, BreakFree, accused it of being factually incorrect. .... [more] 5 Sep, 2003
Unpalatable result for Brambles. Brambles again tested the mettle of its shareholders yesterday, forecasting a weak first half for the current year after reporting a 39 per cent slump in net profit in the year to June 30. .... [more] 3 Sep, 2003
Brambles recovery slug. Pallets maker Brambles Industries today booked a 40 per cent drop in annual net profit to $330 million on the back of its European operations restructure and declines in north American business. .... [more] 2 Sep, 2003
Angry S8 queries unit deal. The BreakFree versus S8 Limited takeover ordeal could be back before the Takeovers Panel after the target company released an expanded franchise strategy which contains another alleged "poison pill". .... [more] 1 Sep, 2003
Troubled Brazin seeks Sanity. Lingerie and music retailer Brazin is attempting to lift its sagging fortunes with a change of focus and a series of cost-cutting measures. .... [more] 22 Aug, 2003
Brazin result slump. Shares in Brazin rose today after the niche retailer announced it would find $9 million in bottom line cost savings by June 2004. .... [more] 21 Aug, 2003
Bosses' $220m bid for Freedom. Senior executives of furniture seller Freedom Group have proposed a $220 million debt-financed buy-out, just as they push the retailer into what they say will be a riskier phase of expansion in overseas markets. .... [more] 20 Aug, 2003
Brambles wins case on CHEP ownership. Brambles Industries has emerged victorious from a two-year legal action where a United States recycler tried to claim ownership of some of its pallets. .... [more] 19 Aug, 2003
Franchises go boom. It's boom time for Australia's food franchise operations. Many big chains report more than 50 per cent growth in the past year. .... [more] 17 Aug, 2003
BreakFree heads off intervention. Takeover target BreakFree has terminated the sale of four key assets to family members and company associates to head off further intervention by the Takeovers Panel. .... [more] 15 Aug, 2003
Fantastic reaction to 56% rise. Shares in discount furniture retailer Fantastic Holdings soared more than 10 per cent yesterday after the company posted strong profit results for 2002-03. .... [more] 14 Aug, 2003
Brambles falters as US executives depart. A recovery by Brambles's CHEP pallet business is again in doubt as the company confirmed it had lost another two senior executives in the US, leaving the problem-plagued division under a new management team. .... [more] 8 Aug, 2003
Brazin's founder hands over reins. Music and lingerie retailer Brazin has appointed a new chief executive, as founder Brett Blundy takes a back seat amid continuing uncertainty over the company's latest venture into UK surfwear and footwear. .... [more] 6 Aug, 2003
McDonald's looks for a low-fat fix to boost sales. McDonald's this week will launch a $6.2 million advertising blitz - one of its biggest marketing campaigns of any company this year - to publicise its new low-fat menu. .... [more] 6 Aug, 2003
ANZ set to sell rural franchises. ANZ Bank is eyeing the $28 billion farm finance sector, offering the sale of rural banking franchises nationwide. .... [more] 5 Aug, 2003
Fresh, and so is the chicken. Oporto founder and director Antonio Cerqueira can be as fresh as his produce when he is selling the special qualities that have made his Bondi chicken burger famous in Sydney. .... [more] 1 Aug, 2003
Kiwi hairstylist confident he's a cut above. Australian hair fashionistas will soon be able to judge the country's best cutters against a New Zealand chain that boasts big claims. .... [more] 28 Jul, 2003
BreakFree, S8 locked in fierce battle. The gloves are off and it's becoming a bare knuckle dust up for two Queensland companies eyeing each other off. .... [more] 28 Jul, 2003
No go for Harvey option deal. Gerry Harvey, founder and executive chairman of Harvey Norman, has caved in to pressure from major investors and abandoned his controversial executive options plan. .... [more] 22 Jul, 2003
RELATED - Small biz outlook bullish. Small business in Australia was strongly confident about the economic outlook, with a majority expecting interest rates would rise in the next 12 months, an inaugural survey shows. .... [more] 22 Jul, 2003
Brazin to detail 160-store UK foray. Troubled music and lingerie retailer Brazin expects to open as many as 160 shoe and surfwear retail shops across the United Kingdom in an effort to regain its growth path. .... [more] 21 Jul, 2003
Brazin bid to follow fashion. Struggling lingerie and music retailer Brazin could be rolling out its own street and surfwear chain by the end of the year. .... [more] 17 Jul, 2003
Boost Juice blends a success that's overflowing. A beverage group with a Body Shop-style culture is now contemplating a stockmarket listing. .... [more] 15 Jul, 2003
Tutoring franchisor aims for a textbook expansion. Tutoring has become big business as parents try to give their children an edge. .... [more] 12 Jul, 2003
Harvey faces showdown over executive options. ING Investment Management yesterday joined the chorus of disapproval of an executive options deal to be put to Harvey Norman's shareholders later this month, declaring it would vote against it. .... [more] 5 Jul, 2003
Harvey to face ASA over proposed executive options. Gerry Harvey, executive chairman and founder of Harvey Norman, will meet the Australian Shareholders' Association next week to discuss objections to his proposed executive share option issue. .... [more] 4 Jul, 2003
Cold Rock on a roll. The Brisbane-controlled ice cream retailer Cold Rock has unleashed an aggressive expansion plan to triple its number of stores outside of Queensland. .... [more] 3 Jul, 2003
'Bully' Harvey's price cut a sellout. The Australian Shareholders Association called Harvey Norman chief Gerry Harvey a "social bully" yesterday for attempting to cut the exercise price of out-of-the-money options held by his top executives. .... [more] 3 Jul, 2003
Chain to double its pizza action. Pizza chain Domino's says it plans to double its Australian and New Zealand store numbers over the next five years. .... [more] 2 Jul, 2003
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