Kumagai Gumi (Hong Kong) is to accelerate its infrastructure operations in the mainland through the support of its ultimate holding company, China Everbright Holdings (CEH). Controlled by the State Council, CEH is the parent company of China Everbright International (CEI) - the largest single shareholder of Kumagai Gumi with 20.98 per cent. The expansion plan was announced after Kumagai Gumi announced profit attributable to shareholders jumped 14.55 per cent to $516.2 million for the year to December. Kumagai Gumi deputy managing director, Rupert Li Xiaru, said CEH was negotiating to take stakes in projects worth $10 billion. He said Kumagai would have priority in undertaking the contracts once the deals had been concluded. Mr Li, also assistant to the chairman of CEI, said about 70 per cent of the projects were related to infrastructure. Turnover dropped 14.89 per cent to $2.07 billion. Profit from ordinary activities rose 21.51 per cent to $494.7 million. Basic earnings per share were 132.4 cents - up 10.15 per cent from 119.8 cents a year earlier. Fully diluted earnings per share were 107.9 cents - a rise of 5.2 per cent from the previous year's 102.5 cents. A final dividend of 10 cents was given, bringing a full-year dividend of 40 cents per share, down 27 per cent from the previous year. A five-for-one bonus warrant was proposed. Executive director Michael Ng Chi-man said property development was responsible for 78 per cent of profit last year - largely generated from the sale of its luxury residential project, Villa Rosa, in Tai Tam. Profit from the construction business accounted for 6 per cent, he said. 'Profit for the coming year will come under pressure due to a lack of major property sales in Hong Kong,' Mr Ng said, adding the company had cash reserves of $900 million as of the end of last year. Outstanding contracts in hand rose 12 per cent to about $5.8 billion in value for the same period. In April, the company signed a conditional agreement to acquire a 20 per cent stake in a $1.3 billion project to build and operate a toll road and bridge in Fuzhou, a project for which it was also bidding to be the main contractor.