Jiangsu Expressway is expected to issue 150 million A shares by the end of this year to finance a bridge investment, according to director Li Dapeng. Mr Li said the planned issue, which had been approved by the provincial government, was awaiting Beijing's approval. At an after-result briefing, Mr Li said the capital, expected to be about 500 million yuan (HK$468.4 million), would be used to finance the 472.67 million yuan acquisition of a 17.83 per cent stake in the Jiangyin Yangtze Highway Bridge. The toll road company on Wednesday announced a 9 per cent drop in profits to 279.16 million yuan for the six months to June. This compared with the 305.34 million yuan over the six months in the preceding year. Revenue rose 31 per cent to 722.45 million yuan from 553.05 million yuan. Mr Li said the result did not include an expected tax refund, which was estimated at 75 million yuan. In the past few years, Beijing allowed Jiangsu Expressway a refund of taxable income from its road operations, as part of incentives to encourage infrastructure development. Mr Li said Beijing issued new restrictions in January under which companies were not required to get approval for the tax refunds from the State Council. The approval had not yet been granted but he believed the company would continue to enjoy preferential offers from the government as infrastructure was the country's development focus. He believed that the approval would be obtained by the end of this year. During the period under review, the company's main asset - the Shanghai-Nanjing Expressway - recorded a double-digit growth in traffic volume, with a daily average of 51,719 vehicles using the expressway, according to Mr Li. But its Nanjing-Shanghai Class 2 Highway saw a 3.3 per cent decrease in the average daily number of toll-paying vehicles to 40,869. The drop was partly due to the diversion of traffic to the company's other expressways and the loss of some vehicles which took advantage of the open-ended tolling design. Mr Li said the company had adopted various measures such as setting up traffic control points with local authorities and stepping up its efforts to prohibit vehicles from by-passing tolls. The company was eyeing on new investment and acquisition opportunities but he did not unveil details. Mr Li said financial position of the company remained strong and gearing ratio had reached 10.6 per cent.