Acclaimed Sydney restaurant group shuts its doors: Midday Roundup

Justin North has announced his restaurant group Becasse Group will shut its doors after Saturday night’s service.

The Sydney restaurateur, together with his wife and partner Georgia North, placed the business in voluntary administration last month.

The Becasse Group included the award winning restaurant Becasse, Quarter Twenty One, Becasse Bakery and Charlie & Co burgers, as well as the Quarter Twenty One Providore and Cookery School.

The administrator initially looked to restructure the business so it could continue but North’s tweet today reads, “Devastated to say the Becasse Group will be closing its doors after Saturday night. Thank u to all our amazing staff, customers & suppliers”.

Speciality Fashion Group sales fall 3.4%

Retailer Speciality Fashion Group has warned full year earnings are likely to drop after the company recorded a yearly drop in like-for-like sales.

The company said sales dropped 3.4% over the year, and that revenue was likely to be flat at $573 million due to poor trading conditions.

The company, which owns the Katie’s and Millers chains, also said it expects EBITDA to be between $21-22 million.

Chief executive Gary Perlstein said the company continues to be affected by severe discounting.

“While group revenue has been impacted by the difficult retail environment, the company has successfully made progress in leveraging its customer database, with online revenue growing materially and expected to contribute to revenue and profitability in future years,” he said.

Shares higher as investors wait on China GDP

Shares have risen this morning despite weak leads from offshore markets as investors await news on China’s GDP growth for the second quarter.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 12.6 points or 0.3% to 4080.6, while the Australian dollar fell to $US1.01.

In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 31 points or 0.2% to 12,573.3.

IMF: Greece fails to meet targets

The International Monetary Fund has said Greece has failed to meet some targets in its bailout program, but says it’s too soon to talk about changes.

“So far, some targets were met, a number were missed and in some cases we don’t have enough of the data to assess” whether different measures may be open to discussion, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said overnight.

“We’re not in the position of negotiating the program’s objectives. They remain the basis for the discussion,” he said.

Darrell Lea can pay staff wages

Administrators for collapsed confectioner and chocolate company Darrell Lea have assured workers they have enough cash to continue paying them

Administrators told its 700 staff they now have enough cash to pay their wages as long as they remain employed with the company, after days of uncertainty during which they sought a cash injection from the Lea family that owns the business.



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