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HR Owen to ‘dispose’ of franchises

HR Owen plans to dispose of a number of its franchises to reduce debt, due to poor sales for the first four months of the year.

At the annual meeting tomorrow, JP MacArthur, HR Owen chairman is expected to confirm the cuts. He is also expected to announce that despite this, the company will return to profit for the second half of 2005. As a result the board will not be recommending a dividend payment until appropriate.

HR Owen said that the progress of the situation would be provided at the ‘appropriate time’.

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