Officials of S & K Famous Brands Inc., the Richmond-based clothing retailer, said recently the company plans to sell its Hip Pocket sports fashion stores.

Under the agreement, expected to be completed by the end of October, S & K would sell the chain of 11 stores to Ronald Batts, formerly president of Jack Eckerd Corp.'s clothing division. Batts plans to set up a new company, as yet unnamed, to purchase the chain.

A company spokesman said the purchase price would be determined after an inventory of the chain.

The sale would allow the Richmond-based retailer to focus solely on its menswear business, S & K Famous Brands, the spokesman said.

"This is a positive move for the company," said Michael Mead, an analyst with Scott Stringfellow Inc. in Richmond. " It allows them to concentrate on the high-growth S & K stores," he said, adding that the S & K stores face less competition than the Hip Pocket stores.

Hip Pocket, which has 11 stores in Virginia, grew from being one of the original "Levi's only" stores 13 years ago to a profitable seller of sports fashion, the company spokesman said.

The company, which operates a chain of 35 S & K Famous Brands stores in seven states and one Deansgate Clothing Showroom formal clothing store in Pittsburgh, expects to expand to 39 stores in 11 states by the end of the year. It recently opened its first store in Northern Virginia at the new Potomac Mills Mall.

S & K, ranked among the 100 fastest-growing companies in the country by Financial World magazine, had revenue last year of $31.2 million.

Atlantic Research Corp. said recently that shareholders of Systematics General Corp., a Sterling-based engineering firm, have voted overwhelmingly to be acquired by the Alexandria-based rocket manufacturer.

Although the two companies specialize in similar areas -- including engineering and computer services, broadcast communications and new energy sources -- ARC called the merger a continuation of its diversification into other lines of business. "Even though there are many operations we now perform that appear similar on the surface, we have really never been in competition," said ARC President William Boren. "Clearly this is a case where one and one make three."

ARC, a publicly owned company, continued its growth last year, reporting profits of $9.9 million on sales of $176 million.

System Development Corp., a federal government contracting subsidiary of Burroughs Co., has won a $35.7 million contract from the Federal Aviation Administration to upgrade the existing air traffic-control systems at medium- and low-density airports.

The new systems will give the smaller airports "the same air traffic-control capabilities that large airports have," a spokesman said. SDC, in a venture with Hughes Aircraft Co., has said it will enter the competition with other Fortune 500 companies, including Bethesda-based Martin Marietta Corp., for a future contract to overhaul the air traffic-control system of large commercial airports.

McLean-based SDC also has won a contract with a potential value of $20 million to implement and operate the Medicaid claims processing program for Oklahoma's Department of Human Services. SDC currently provides its Medicaid management information system to Iowa, Louisiana and Massachusetts.

A. H. Robins Co. of Richmond and Genex Corp. of Rockville will attempt to develop a vaccine for a group of poultry diseases that causes up to $300 million in annual losses, the firms announced last week.

The companies will work over several years to develop a genetically engineered vaccine against coccidiosis, a bacterial infection of chickens. If it is developed, Robins will receive an exclusive worldwide license from Genex, which will be paid royalities on sales.

The project arises out of an earlier agreement between Genex and the Agriculture Department, in which Genex was one of three firms awarded the privilege to genetically engineer an antigen that could be used in the development of a vaccine against coccidiosis.

The U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia has awarded BonTech Corp. of McLean $3.7 million plus interest and costs in a suit involving breach of contract between the small international marketing and development firm and a West German company.

The court ruled that Uni-Et Gmbh of Munich and two individuals breached a $19 million contract awarded to BonTech to import 1,500 trucks from Chile to Germany. The Munich firm never funded a $1.5 million escrow account or three letters of credit for the sale, preventing BonTech from acquiring the trucks, the court ruled.

Based in Tysons Corner, BonTech is an international trading firm specializing in the procurement of construction machinery, equipment and materials with annual revenue of about $2 million, a spokeswoman said.