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Convenience store chain Lawson Inc. said Wednesday its group net profit in the 2006 fiscal first half fell 7.5 percent from a year earlier as an increase in advertising and other costs more than offset record sales at its outlets.

In a consolidated earnings report for the six months to Aug. 31, Lawson said its net profit totaled 706.29 billion yen. Its pretax profit fell 2.8 percent to 24.35 billion yen.

FamilyMart Co., another major convenience store chain, reported a rise 0.3 percent rise in consolidated net profit, year on year, for the six months through Aug. 31 to 9.42 billion yen, citing anemic personal spending, stiff competition and unseasonable weather.

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