A HK$70 million-plus writeback on provisions for doubtful debts saved red chip Denway Investment from slipping into the red in the first half. The diversified car-making arm of the Guangzhou municipal government, which last year reported a profit with the aid of writebacks, said interim net profits rocketed a year-on-year 450 per cent to HK$16.2 million. This was despite about half of the writeback being wiped out by a provision of HK$34 million for the diminished value of Denway's properties in Hong Kong. Deputy managing director Hu Peizhuo said the economic turmoil had hit its businesses, such as car-parts manufacturing. The company reported an operating loss of of HK$26.7 million, widening from HK$7 million in the year-ago period. Turnover rose 3.9 per cent to HK$250.6 million. Earnings per share rose to 1.19 HK cents from 0.27 HK cents. Interim dividends were suspended, as they were last year. Mr Hu said interest expenses would pressure the bottom line in the second half. The company is expected to incur interest expenses of HK$13 million in the period after taking out a US$70 million loan as its share of capital for a car-making venture with Honda. The joint venture with Honda, in which Denway has an indirect 47.5 per cent stake, was expected to roll out between 10,000 and 12,000 Accords next year. Mr Hu said the company might book a small amount of provisions for some enterprises made obsolete by the sale of the failed Sino-French joint-venture Guangzhou Peugeot Automobile.