Anhui Expressway plans to complete the purchase of equity stakes in two highways this year and to beef up a technology investment arm in order for it to become the company's growth engine. Chairman Wang Shui said the H share would double its interest in the 110-kilometre Gaojie Expressway to 60 per cent in a move that would cost at least 550 million yuan (HK$514.35 million). The company would also take a controlling stake in the Anhui section of the Liaohuo Expressway. The 50 km Anhui section will need investment of at least 1.3 billion yuan. Mr Wang said the H share would conclude the planned acquisitions by the end of this year, to ensure a steady stream of revenue for the following year. The expected acquisitions would be funded by internal resources and toll revenue generated during the year, with the shortfall being met by domestic bank loans. Last year, the company earned 24.67 per cent more in profit attributable to shareholders to 206.15 million yuan, on a revenue of 330.43 million yuan, up 20.04 per cent from a year earlier. Earnings per share were 14.64 fen. A final dividend of four fen a share will be paid. As at March 20 this year, Mr Wang said, the combined toll fees of its three main expressways had grown 21.56 per cent over the previous year to 87.01 million yuan. The trio are the 134 km-long Hening Expressway, the 30 km Tianchang section of the National Highway 205, in which it has 100 per cent stakes, and the 58 km-long Xuanguang Expressway, in which it has an effective 51 per cent stake. Taking newly acquired Gaojie Expressway into account, the H share recorded toll revenue of 106.66 million yuan during the first 80 days of this year, representing an increase of 48.95 per cent over a year ago. Mr Wang said 51 per cent owned Wantong Technology, a computer software development and information system integration company, would be a new growth focus. Wantong Technology would try to expand its scope of services to include financial to telecommunications services as well as other applications, Mr Wang said. To increase the push, the company would also attempt all possible means, from equity joint ventures to co-operative joint ventures and direct acquisitions, he said. Initial investment at Wantong Technology was one million yuan. Last year, it made a net profit of 425,000 yuan on 3.37 million yuan of revenue.