Alannah Hill walks from iconic fashion label, Wesfarmers profit rises 6.3%: Midday Roundup

Fashion designer Alannah Hill will walk away from the company which shares her name, it was announced this morning.

According to Fairfax, Hill said in a statement she would leave Factory X, the business vehicle for her designs.

While Factory X will operate the 42 Alannah Hill stores, she will have no more input in the company’s operation.

“I am deeply saddened to make this monumental decision. I was completely devoted to my label and all that it represents to girls Australia-wide,” Hill said in a statement, according to Fairfax.

Wesfarmers pays special dividend on 6.3% profit rise

Wesfarmers will pay out a special dividend after reporting a 6.3% increase in net profit to $2.26 billion in the year to June.

The company’s special dividend payment will be $579 million and is subject to a ruling from the tax office and shareholder approval.

The fully-franked dividend of $1.03 will also be paid out.

In a statement, the company said it will “remain optimistic in its outlook…despite more challenging forecasts from the Australian domestic economy and households”.

Specifically, the company pointed out Target’s trading remains a challenge due to “ongoing winter clearance activity and the non-repeat of high levels of promotional activity in the prior year.”

Bank of Queensland to refund interest charges

The Bank of Queensland announced this morning it will refund interest charges worth $34.5 million.

As part of a company review, the business said it had uncovered “legacy issues”, which resulted in the “incorrect application” of interest rates and fees.

The review started last year and investigated a number of different aspects of the company.

Chief executive Stuart Grimshaw said “the completion of the review represented an important milestone in BOQ’s recovery”.

“The problems have been caused by a number of issues, including overly complex products, which required too many manual processes,” Grimshaw said.

Shares weak on poor offshore leads

The Australian sharemarket has opened lower this morning, following a weak result from Wall Street overnight.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 4.1 points or 0.1% to 5153.3 at 11.50 AEST.


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