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: : Jan-Jun 2004

Mortgage broker paves way for market listing. Investment bank UBS has been meeting brokers and fund managers in Melbourne this week, drumming up excitement about Mortgage Choice's latest attempt at a float. .... [more] 26 Jun, 2004
Metcash to go overseas, but not Asia. Metcash Trading chief Andrew Reitzer has ruled out Asia as a hunting ground for a fourth pillar business as it seeks to lift sales 40 per cent in five years. .... [more] 25 Jun, 2004
Brambles splits CHEP in two. Brambles Industries Ltd has split its flagship CHEP pallet business in two, with the division's global chief executive Victor Mendes to leave in a week. .... [more] 24 Jun, 2004
Float for mortgage broker gets nod. After several attempts over the years to get the float away and the doom and gloom surrounding the housing and IPO markets, UBS is pushing ahead regardless with the $141 million float of mortgage broker Mortgage Choice. .... [more] 22 Jun, 2004
Franklins groomed for Metcash fight. The chief of South Africa's Pick 'n Pay, Sean Summers, yesterday put rival Metcash Trading on notice, flagging plans for the Franklins business in Australia to become an alternative supplier for independent retailers. .... [more] 18 Jun, 2004
Harvey Norman hits back at rumours. Retailer Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd moved to quash market speculation its business had hit a snag by unexpectedly releasing figures showing sales for the 11 months to May were up 16 per cent. .... [more] 15 Jun, 2004
Spitting chips, McDonalds fights back. After many weeks of silence, McDonald's is fighting back. The fast-food company will this week embark on a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign to counter the documentary film Super Size Me. .... [more] 14 Jun, 2004
Boost puts Viva through blender. Four years ago the bosses of the Boost and Viva juice bars sat down to talk about merging their fledgling companies. .... [more] 11 Jun, 2004
Mortgage Choice rounds out board before float. Mortgage Choice took a step closer to listing on the Australian Stock Exchange yesterday with the announcement that it was enlarging its board. .... [more] 10 Jun, 2004
Boost Juice eyes ASX listing. Australian juice bar chain Boost Juice has bought out its major competitor, Viva Juice and opened its one hundredth store. .... [more] 10 Jun, 2004
The franchise – at your convenience. An increasingly time-poor society is fuelling a boom in the franchise industry. .... [more] 5 Jun, 2004
Retail Cube in starting blocks for stockmarket run. Retail Cube, a company that has interests as diverse as shoes, knives and paint, says it has firm offers for more than 50 per cent of the funds it is trying to drum up for a stock exchange listing. .... [more] 29 May, 2004
Mortgage Choice loans face scrutiny. Mortgage Choice, one of Australia's largest mortgage brokers, has been told it may have to review the sale of up to 50,000 mortgages and face compensation claims for making misleading and deceptive claims to customers. .... [more] 27 May, 2004
CHEP faces risk of more compo: analyst. Pallet distributor CHEP, owned by Brambles Industries Ltd, faces a risk of having to increase compensation it pays to pallet recyclers in the United States. .... [more] 24 May, 2004
$20m public offer. Retail Cube Ltd, the owner of the Athletes Foot shoe store chain, has kicked off a $20 million public share offer. .... [more] 21 May, 2004
Metcash to unite small liquor stores to take on big boys. Liquor wholesaler Metcash Trading plans to marshal 1000 independent liquor stores into a "third force" by 2005 to take on heavyweights Coles Myer and Woolworths. .... [more] 19 May, 2004
Brambles to appeal against US pallet twist. Brambles Industries said yesterday it was confident of winning an appeal against a US company that was awarded $US584,000 ($A850,000) in an unusual court ruling. .... [more] 15 May, 2004
Post strikers threaten more action. Postal workers in NSW threatened further industrial action if Australia Post management does not return to the negotiating table. .... [more] 13 May, 2004
Postal strike begins. Australia Post workers around the country started a 24-hour strike this morning over stalled enterprise agreement negotiations and plans to franchise post offices. .... [more] 13 May, 2004
Managers step in for posties. Australia Post will use non-union staff to limit the impact of a 24-hour strike in three states tomorrow. .... [more] 12 May, 2004
Postal workers plan national strike. Postal workers are preparing to launch the first national postal strike for nearly 20 years next week as they clash with management over pay and plans to franchise post offices. .... [more] 7 May, 2004
Harvey takes bond route. Harvey Norman Holdings, Australia's biggest furniture and electronics retailer, plans to sell its first bonds, backed by its property, and use the money to fund expansion. .... [more] 4 May, 2004

Franchisees under the pump. Caltex has warned its service station operators that one in five franchisees who do not participate in its co-branded petrol alliance with Woolworths will be worse off and could close. .... [more] 30 Apr, 2004
Caltex acts over memo. Caltex Australia said some employees would be leaving the company and others would be disciplined over a memo proposing the use of fear and other unacceptable tactics in negotiations with service station franchisees. .... [more] 24 Apr, 2004
BreakFree's grand resort plan. Holiday and management rights group BreakFree yesterday said it would create Victoria's largest resort after it acquired the management rights for beachfront resort Erskine on the Beach, on the Great Ocean Road. .... [more] 23 Apr, 2004
McDonald's tragedy turns Kingsford boy into burger king. The Golden Arches were at half-mast at Kingsford McDonald's yesterday. But Australia's flag flew more proudly than ever and the toilets were spotless. .... [more] 21 Apr, 2004
McSalads bring back health. Peddling salads, apples and low-fat muffins alongside Big Macs and Sausage and Egg McMuffins has proved a lucrative move for McDonald's Australia, which has bounced back from a loss to post a fat profit last year. .... [more] 20 Apr, 2004
Harvey Norman on track to 10pc growth. Electronics and furniture retailer Harvey Norman will finish the full year with comparable store sales growth of more than 10 per cent, executive chairman Gerry Harvey says. .... [more] 16 Apr, 2004
Caltex named in fuel subsidy claim. Oil giant Caltex is facing fresh claims by angry franchisees that it has saved millions of dollars at motorists' expense by manipulating a Federal fuel subsidy. .... [more] 10 Apr, 2004
Child-care industry faces up to growing pains. Newcomers to the sector are finding it's not all child's play, as competition mounts for a slice of the corporate market. .... [more] 9 Apr, 2004
Harvey Norman shares climb. Shares in Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd defied a weaker retail sector to close nearly three per cent higher on Thursday. .... [more] 8 Apr, 2004
Phone call brews coffee on wheels. Drive-through coffee outlets had been common in the US for almost 10 years. Intrigued, Mr Muzeroll headed to Australia to check the lie of the land. .... [more] 3 Apr, 2004
Jobs in limbo as shoe chain close. More than 60 workers face losing a total of up to $200,000 in wages, superannuation and holiday pay after the collapse of discount shoe chain Speeds Shoes. .... [more] 2 Apr, 2004
Subway king aims to be bigger than Mac's. The American co-founder of the Subway chain believes his rapidly expanding network of franchised outlets will overtake the number of McDonald's restaurants in Australia within the next 12 months. .... [more] 1 Apr, 2004
ANZ establishes mortgage franchises. ANZ Banking Group said it will establish 15 mortgage franchises in Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland by July with the goal of rolling out 175 nationally. .... [more] 31 Mar, 2004
Doubts over quick end to Caltex fracas. Uncertainty gripped the Caltex and Woolworths petrol joint venture late yesterday after the Federal Court adjourned a hearing into a dispute between Caltex and hundreds of its disgruntled franchisees. .... [more] 31 Mar, 2004
ABC pays $13m for centres and college. ABC Learning Centres yesterday increased its slice of the child-care market, striking a deal with two private operators to acquire 11 centres and a training college in Cairns. .... [more] 30 Mar, 2004
BreakFree sells Surfers tower for $7.75m. Gold Coast unit manager BreakFree has finally covered the cost of a protracted takeover battle with rival S8 Ltd by selling its corporate headquarters. .... [more] 22 Mar, 2004
Discount variety retailers in big guns' firing line. The expansion of bargain-basement discount stores in Australia is attracting the attention of the big store chains such as Kmart and Big W. .... [more] 18 Mar, 2004
Eagle Boys ready for landing. Ballarat's pizza war is set to intensify with Eagle Boys Pizza looking to beef up the competition. .... [more] 16 Mar, 2004
New Clicks ready to expand after buy-out. The management of retailer New Clicks Australia has completed a $107 million buyout of the company from its South African parent and is on the lookout for acquisitions. .... [more] 19 Feb, 2004
Harvey World travels down profitable road. Incentives for franchisees, growth in travel insurance sales and a healthy market helped Harvey World Travel report a $1.48 million net profit after tax for the first half yesterday. .... [more] 18 Feb, 2004
Macca's fries competitors. McDonald's, under the leadership of Jim Cantalupo and Australian Charlie Bell, has mounted one of this year's most impressive corporate turnarounds. .... [more] 17 Feb, 2004
Poh Kong extending franchise to Australia. Malaysian jeweller Poh Kong Holdings Bhd is banking on former customers who have migrated to Australia to gain a foothold in the country within a year. .... [more] 11 Feb, 2004
Harvey Norman operators in WA charged. Almost 150 charges have been laid against a number of operators of Harvey Norman stores in Western Australia for defying a Sunday trading ban. .... [more] 11 Feb, 2004
ABC unveils big plan to run schools. ABC Learning Centres will become the first Australian public company to operate a school under a significant expansion plan unveiled yesterday. .... [more] 4 Feb, 2004
Pitfalls when buying a franchise. Buying a franchise is a popular choice for people wanting to run their own business. But there are some dangers. .... [more] 31 Jan, 2004
Franchised cafe chain poised for expansion. Queensland-based Hog's Breath Cafe has become one of the country's biggest and fastest growing chains of themed franchise eateries. .... [more] 27 Jan, 2004
MiniMovers on expansion trail. Brisbane-based short-distance moving company MiniMovers is ready to expand across Australia, but first it needs to find the right staff. .... [more] 26 Jan, 2004
Retailer's $1.9 billion falls short. Retailing chain Harvey Norman has blamed lower than expected sales of air-conditioners due to cooler weather for taking the heat out of its first-half sales results. .... [more] 23 Jan, 2004
Payless Car Rental Expands Down Under With New Affiliate Agreement. Payless Car Rental System, Inc. announced today an affiliate agreement with Network Car & Truck Rentals Australia expanding the Payless brand to Australia and New Zealand. .... [more] 20 Jan, 2004
Prices fall as tensions rise in Aussie pizza price war. The pizza war in Wendouree is heating up as operators slash prices to match their competition. .... [more] 19 Jan, 2004
Talk of Brambles break-up gathers support. Brambles shares advanced again yesterday as rumours circulated that the troubled logistics group may be considering a break-up. .... [more] 15 Jan, 2004
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