Nam Hing Holdings, a maker of industrial laminates, has slowed its expansion because of falling demand. Executive director Lau Hing-hai said after the company's annual general meeting yesterday that construction of its Suzhou plant for production of laminates had been slower than the original schedule. 'Although all the machines are already in place, we are not about to open the factory, because the demand in eastern China has stagnated,' he said. He failed to give a definite start-up date, saying the schedule had to be in line with the general situation. Mr Lau said production at the Zhongshan plant was able to satisfy present demand. The Zhongshan plant, which can produce 300,000 square metres a month at full speed, was running at 80 per cent of the capacity, he said. The company, which operates a copper-foil plant in Thailand, registered an $8.71 million exceptional loss on exchange of Thai baht last year. Finance director Yau Kwan-shan said the company would take advantage of cheaper labour costs and falling prices for raw materials to double the annual production of the copper-foil plant to 2,000 tonnes next year. Commenting on the outlook for this year, Mr Lau said sales in the first half had fallen compared with the corresponding period last year. He said the company would control production costs to cushion the pressure on profit margins.