SOUTH China Morning Post (Holdings) has reported a 2.83 per cent rise in profit attributable to shareholders for the year ending June 30. The result was at the high end of expectations, analysts said. Profit attributable rose from $564.1 million in 1994 to $580.06 million, in results affected by steeply rising newsprint costs. Profit growth was reflected at the earnings-per-share level. Per share earnings stood at 38.67 cents, up 2.82 per cent. This placed the stock on a historic price earnings ratio of 11.5 times. Chairman Robert Kuok said: 'Operations were mainly dominated by the increasing cost of newsprint and the necessity of maintaining disciplines to conserve newsprint at every stage of production and distribution and the reduction of operational costs wherever possible.' The company declared a final dividend of 13 cents per share. This taken with other dividends previously paid in the period took the total to 30 cents per share for the year, flat on the previous year. Mr Kuok said: 'The company faces a challenging year ahead with increasing competition for advertising revenue and with some uncertainties arising out of further possible increases in newsprint prices.' Turnover was up 2.69 per cent to $1.25 billion. Operating profit rose 3.2 per cent to $692.7 million taking the operating profit margin to 55.24 per cent in 1995 against 54.96 per cent in 1994. Mr Kuok said the planned transfer of some print, administration and editorial facilities to a new plant in Tai Po and offices in Dorset House was completed before the end of July. 'Morning Post Building, Quarry Bay, was handed over to the purchasers of the building on August 1, 1995,' Mr Kuok said. He said the purchase of land and all new equipment, the preparation of the site along with the construction and fit-out of the Tai Po new building and the fit-out of Dorset House, was financed entirely out of existing funds. While a challenging year still lay ahead, Mr Kuok said: 'However, the company is now housed in its new premises with state-of-the-art equipment at the Tai Po plant and, with new senior recruitments in both editorial and management, looks forward to the future with confidence.' In the first half, to December 31, the company reported a 16.35 per cent rise in profit to $300.6 million. Turnover rose 6.85 per cent to $631 million and operating profit was up 15.99 per cent to $362 million. This took the operating profit margin from 52.85 per cent in the six months to December 31, 1993, to 57.37 per cent in the period to December 31 last year. The final dividend for the period ended June 30 will be due for payment to shareholders whose names appear on the register of members on October 20. The proposed dividend, if approved, will be paid on or before October 27.