FOUR Seas Travel International says profits dropped 20 per cent. The results were affected by fierce competition in the industry and the company's investments on business expansion and diversification. Profit attributable to shareholders for the year to March was $12.6 million, despite a 30 per cent surge in turnover to $1.32 billion. Fully diluted earnings per share dropped 21.6 per cent to 6.5 cents. A final dividend of 1.8 cents per share was proposed. Added to the interim, this makes a total dividend payout of 3.1 cents per share, which compares with 3.7 cents per share in the previous year. Chairman Leung Yeung Lai-ling said the satisfactory growth in turnover was a result of pro-active marketing and the launch of My Journey travel packages and products complementing core ticketing operations. She said the changing face of the travel industry in recent years would benefit the group. The travel industry in Hong Kong had undergone a transformation since the enforcement in 1992 of the compulsory Bank Settlement Plan, which required punctual payment of tickets to airlines. 'The directors are of the view that the transformation process is very much in favour of the group, which enjoys considerable financial resources and established track records in service quality and credit control,' she said. The group felt it pivotal to invest in marketing and product development to capture wider income and client bases to prepare it for the end of the transformation phase. The same phase was expected to put some less financially sound operators out of business.