Shares in the Retail Food Group, the owner of Gloria Jean’s coffee shops, fell again the company issued a statement saying it had no evidence of franchisees underpaying staff.
At the close, the shares were down 7% to $2.650. Over the last four weeks, the shares have dropped from $4.70.
The company says media coverage “does not accurately reflect” the business.
A Fairfax Media investigation revealed hundreds of stores were going to the wall as “a result of a brutal business model”.
“RFG has no evidence of any widespread franchisee non-compliance with employee entitlement payments,” the company said in a statement to the ASX.
“Since Fairfax Media published its initial article on 9 December 2017, RFG has received just one telephone enquiry through its support hotline from an employee, which it is investigating. RFG’s franchisee network employs more than 10,000 employees.”
The company, the franchisor of Brumby’s, Donut King, Crust Gourmet Pizzas, Michel’s Patisserie and Gloria Jean’s, has announced a 24-month business review.
Profit in 2017 was $75.7 million on $349.3 million in revenue.