THE Mass Transit Railway Corp (MTRC) has announced a sharp jump in profit to $403 million for last year, thanks to an increase in the number of passengers and more revenue. This is the second time the corporation, which began operations in 1979, has reported a profit. It made a $67 million profit in 1991. Total revenue grew 12.4 per cent to $3.99 billion from $3.55 billion in 1991. The number of passengers carried rose 3.4 per cent to 751 million while fare revenue climbed 11.5 per cent to $3.39 billion, a key factor in the big profits. MTRC chairman Hamish Mathers attributed the good result to a combination of a 7.8 per cent average fare increase and a 3.4 per cent in the number of rides. The corporation said its ability to contain operating costs, which rose to $1.69 billion from $1.47 billion, and a lower interest rate on borrowings, of $18.4 billion, had also helped the increase. The announcement came yesterday as the company said it would spend $1.4 billion on capital expenditure this year, compared with $600 million last year. Finance director Roger Moss said the money earmarked would be solely for capital expenditure and excluded spending on repairs and maintenance works of the system. ''This demonstrate the corporation's strong commitment to improve the system by providing better service,'' he said. Last year, the corporation had fixed assets of $25.46 billion, compared with $25.08 billion in 1991. Share capital totalled $8.47 billion, while shareholders' funds amounted to $7.93 billion. Interest and finance charges were reduced to $1.31 billion from $1.45 billion.