Allied Group, the financial services, property and industrial group, suffered a 2 per cent slide in attributable profit to $87.9 million in the six months ended June. The group, which includes listed companies Allied Properties and Allied Industries International, has however painted an optimistic picture of the second half, with improved contributions expected from financial services and property. At Allied Group, operating profit rose from $66.4 million to $100 million but contributions from associates dropped from $47.4 million to $38.9 million and payments to minority interests rose from $13.9 million to $30.9 million. Earnings per share were unchanged at 2.9 cents. Directors said no payout was being made to shareholders to retain funds to expand its consumer finance division, United Asia Finance. An exceptional loss of $322,000 was incurred during the period relating to professional fees in connection with the investigation ordered by the Financial Secretary into the group's affairs four years ago. Turnover rose 26 per cent to $322.39 million during the period, up from $255.57 million. United Asia Finance increased its loan portfolio to $731 million from $614 million at the end of last year and expanded its branch network from eight to 10. Associated company Allied Properties (HK), which in July completed the purchase of 33.18 per cent of securities firm Sun Hung Kai & Co, suffered a 39.7 per cent plunge in attributable profit to $83.3 million despite earning an exceptional profit of $15.7 million, up from a $3.5 million exceptional gain previously. Allied Group chief executive Augustine Chow Pok-yu said the result was within expectations and reflected the fact that the company had withheld certain properties to be sold in the second half. The sale of the remaining units of Tregunter Tower 3 in July would be reflected in results for the second half, he said. Turnover fell from $307.9 million to $216.7 million, while earnings per share were 3.4 cents compared to 5.7 cents. No interim dividend will be paid. He said Allied Properties had focused on maximising returns from its rental portfolio and selling non-core investments to strengthen working capital. Allied Industries International posted an attributable profit of $11.09 million, against a loss of $36.29 million. The figure included an exceptional profit of $5.3 million compared to an exceptional loss of $16.4 million. Earnings per share were 1.4 cents against a 4.5 cent loss. No dividend is payable.