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    Leading Scottish c-store chain sold to rival; Circle K flourishes in Hong Kong.

    One of Scotland's leading convenience store chains has been sold to one of its rivals for about £30m.

    Edinburgh-based Scotmid is to take over Dundee-based Morning, Noon and Night's 50 stores across the country. The stores are spread across Scotland, from the central belt to the Highlands, while Scotmid's stores are concentrated around Edinburgh and the east of Scotland.

    The firm has been built up over 13 years by Eddie Thompson, chairman of Dundee United football club.

    Thompson said the deal should not mean store closures or job losses, but he also said that it would not lead to an "influx" of money into Dundee Utd. In a statement on the football club's Web site, he said: "Selling a company that I have built up from scratch has been one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make. However, Scotmid is a well established, leading Scottish company and I know that the MN&N staff and stores will be well looked after."

    In other international news, Convenience Retail Asia Ltd., the company that operates the Circle K convenience store chain in Hong Kong and China, reported a rise in second-quarter net profit of 11 percent on the year, supported by Hong Kong's economic recovery.

    The company posted a net profit of HK$18.4 million for the three months ended June 30, up from HK$16.6 million a year earlier when the SARS outbreak devastated normal consumption patterns.

    "The company maintained its momentum of growth during the second quarter of the year, which can be attributed to the gradual improvement in Hong Kong's economy and the increase in visitors from China," said CEO Richard Yeung.

    The retailer's revenue in the second quarter rose 15 percent to HK$432.8 million, from HK$377.6 million a year earlier.

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