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Irish convenience store group ADM Londis plans to convert from a co-operative to an unlisted public company. The move was approved by a vote of Londis members last week and means it is the only Irish retailer to allow store owners to own the company through shareholdings.

Londis will rename itself ADM Londis plc, with the individual members now able to buy and sell shares in the company.

CEO Stephen O'Riordan said the move would bring substantial rewards to retailers "while at the same time creating a healthier, more competitive environment through increasing sales and market share for the company."

Earlier this year ADM Londis rejected a €35 ($43m U.S.) million takeover bid from its much bigger rival BWG, the owner of the Spar and Mace franchises.

In 2003, Londis reported a 14 percent rise in turnover to €294m ($362m U.S.) earlier this year, with €8.6m ($10.6m U.S.) in pre-tax profits. The group employs 5,000 people in 330 stores. It plans to open 15 new outlets before year-end.

In other news, 7-Eleven Japan Co. will raise its dividend for the 2004 business year by 4 yen per share as its group business has shown sound results, particularly the mainstay convenience store business.

7-Eleven Japan, part of the Ito-Yokado retail conglomerate, reported a group net profit of 53.81 billion yen for the March-August first half of its business year, up 7.6 percent from a year earlier.
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