Red chip Legend Holdings yesterday posted a 64 per cent jump in net profit to $199 million in the nine months to December as the impact of negative factors eased in the third quarter. In its first quarterly financial report aimed at boosting transparency, the company said it had earned a net profit of $93 million on turnover of $3.47 billion in the third quarter. The mainland's top computer manufacturer said turnover in the nine-month period rose 46 per cent to $8.66 billion compared with the proforma figure for the year-ago period. Chairman Liu Chuanzhi said the mainland's computer market returned to normal in the third quarter because of an improvement in Asian market conditions, the completion of the last round of governmental changes, a successful anti-smuggling campaign and the end of adverse effects from the mainland's floods. Sales of the Legend brand of computers, distribution of computer products and systems integration recorded strong growth, Mr Liu said. He predicted even better prospects for the mainland computer market this year. The market is expected to post 27 per cent growth for last year. Mr Liu said Legend's net profit margin would grow from 2.3 per cent as the effects of investment in research and development and a greater emphasis on higher margin products filtered through to the bottom line. Executive director Mary Ma Xuezheng said Legend's objective was to achieve 20 to 25 per cent annual sales growth. She said the firm was on track to achieve sales of 780,000 Legend computers in the financial year ending in March. The first three quarters saw a 71 per cent jump in unit sales of Legend computers to about 630,000, of which 259,000 were sold in the third quarter. The firm claimed Legend computers' mainland market share was 16.5 per cent in the third quarter, up from 11.8 per cent in the first quarter and 15.2 per cent in the second. Legend aims to sell more than one million units in the next financial year. Ms Ma said there was about a 15 per cent difference in prices for Legend computers and imports. Turnover in Legend's distribution business rose 77 per cent in the first three quarters, while systems integration climbed 16 per cent. Ms Ma said the credit tightening squeezing mainland corporates had not affected Legend's financing. The Bank of China recently agreed to increase the firm's trade finance quota by $100 million at a standard interest rate. Ms Ma said a rise in bank borrowings in the first three quarters of about $300 million over the first half, was mainly due to the need to cope with a 30 per cent jump in turnover in the period. The firm had only used about 40 per cent of a one billion yuan (about HK$931 million) credit line from the Bank of China. Legend has accumulated a cash pile of about $698 million.