Christmas tree manufacturer FT Holdings International says it has solved a number of operational difficulties that caused a 14 per cent fall in net last year to $30.1 million. Chairman Jimmy Lai Kam-wing said the company had successfully replaced 300 workers who resigned from the its Dongguan factories ahead of the handover last year. The workforce represented one third of the company's total in China. 'Most of them returned to their homeland in the north because they feared the handover would leave southern China in chaos or war,' Mr Lai said after the company's annual general meeting yesterday. A floral product factory in Shangdong, which did not operate for six months due to a delay, started to generate sales last September, he said. 'Our performance will improve this year as sales in the US are pretty strong,' Mr Lai said. The United States accounted for almost 70 per cent of the company's $162.1 million turnover last year.