Newly listed highway operator Road King Infrastructure has been a major profit contributor for civil engineering group Wai Kee Holdings in the past financial year, group chairman William Zen Wei-pao says. Mr Zen said 45 per cent-owned Road King contributed 50 per cent of the $100 million net profit for the year to March. 'It is forecast that [Road King's] net profits will almost double to $180 for the next financial year,' Mr Zen said. He said Road King was negotiating with mainland parties to operate five more expressways in Guangdong, Jiangsu and Henan provinces, in addition to the eight road projects it already operates. 'Road King has agreed with the Chinese its annual return will be a minimum of 22 per cent, meaning it can recuperate its investment in less than five years,' Mr Zen said. He also said Road King was debt-free, with $950 million cash in hand, of which $300 million would be allocated to the five additional projects. Mr Zen said Wai Kee hoped to become a major civil contractor in Hong Kong and the region through the acquisition of an 80 per cent stake in Shui On Civil Contractors. Shui On, with three contractors from China and Malaysia, had bid for a 40 per cent stake in Singapore's $1.5 billion mass transit railway project. At yesterday's annual general meeting, Edmund Tse Sze-wing was appointed an independent non-executive director. He replaces Francis Yuen Tin-fan, the former stock exchange chief executive.