Ahold's operating profit rose 21.7% to 667.2m euros on sales up 12.6% to 15.5bn euros for the 12 weeks to October 7. The Weston family, through its Wittington Investments arm, has taken full control of Fortnum & Mason after buying out the remaining shares to take the company private. The Co-operative Group is to close its Burgess Hill, Sussex, store after its conversion to the Welcome format failed to stem falling sales. Dutch supermarket group Laurus is involved in a legal dispute with a competitor over the sale of some of its stores ­ its second in six months. In a trading statement ahead of its full year results, Cadbury Schweppes said it maintained full-year earnings growth targets despite a softening in the US carbonated soft drinks market. Somerfield scooped the top prize in this year's APA Customer Magazine Awards for its multi strand approach to marketing through consumer and corporate web sites, consumer magazines and point of purchase material. Scottish MPs are urging the government to take action to prevent the Scottish whisky industry from falling completely into the hands of large multinationals. Somerfield has completed the sale and lease back of its RDC in Elmet, north Yorkshire. Judges presiding over the metric martyrs' trial at the High Court have reserved judgment on the case for several weeks. German group Metro has opened its 15th cash and carry in China. A potential buyer has emerged for the troubled Spar chain in the Baltic, local papers report. The Residuary Milk Marketing Board is making arrangements for paying final distributions to dairy farmers registered with the Milk Marketing Board when it was dismantled in 1994. US discount giant Kmart blamed disappointing third quarter results on the cost of overhauling its supply chain. The chain posted net losses of $224m for the three months to October 31 on sales down 2.2% to $8bn. Discount retailers Aldi and Kwik Save are running promotions on electrical products. Aldi has launched a PC promotion where the best buy is a multi-media internet system for £699.99. Kwik Save is offering cut price wide screen TVs and DVDs. Shoppers can buy both for £349.98. South African Breweries has moved into Central America by buying the only brewer in Honduras. The news came as part of its interim results which showed pre-tax profit down from £219m to £213m on turnover up from £1.49bn to £1.54bn. Greene King reported volume growth on all four of its key brands ­ IPA, Old Speckled Hen, Abbot Ale and Ruddles County ­ in its interim results. These showed pre-tax profit up 11% to £32m on turnover up 5% to £213m. {{NEWS }}