System-integrator Automated Systems Holdings reported a 30.4 per cent year-on-year rise in net profit in the first half of this year, due mainly to a sharp increase in contributions from its Taiwanese consulting associate company. Attributed profit in the period amounted to $21.01 million. Turnover increased 35.2 per cent to $380.25 million. Contributions from 28.9 per cent-held associate Data Systems Consulting jumped to $7.6 million from $1.77 million last year. Managing director Peter Kuo said the increase was due to booking of profits from government contracts in the first quarter. Overall operating profit for the period edged up 1.7 per cent from last year, and Mr Kuo was optimistic that growth would pick up in the second half. 'Growth in the education and government sectors in the second half will sustain as we have obtained over $300 million worth of government bulk contracts since the beginning of the year,' Mr Kuo said. Turnover from the education sector and government contracts increased to 16 per cent and 37 per cent from 6 per cent and 35 per cent last year. Automated Systems was among five companies appointed to supply computer hardware and related services to 1,300 local schools over 30 months. It has secured over $20 million worth of contracts with 80 schools since its appointment in June. It has completed and booked more than $100 million worth of government contracts in the first half, and has more than $200 million orders on hand, over 20 per cent higher than the same time last year. Mr Kuo said the company had started selling a shares-trading computer system designed by its indirect parent, US-listed Computer Sciences Corp. He expected to announce in about two weeks a contract with OSK Securities worth about $2.5 million. The company has also recently signed a contract with the Futures Exchange on a computer network project.