The chairman of the KCRC refused yesterday to rule out fare rises as a way of reducing the corporation's over-reliance on the growing cross-border market for revenue. Yeung Kai-yin, chairman and chief executive, would not say directly if it would mean price rises for its loss-making domestic services, insisting a decision would only be made in July after a comprehensive review of fare structures in the spring. The Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation reported a net profit of $2.2 billion last year, up 20.2 per cent from 1999. The corporation said the positive results were due to rapid growth in the cross-border market and its non-transport business. In 1995, an average of 117,863 commuters used its cross-border service to Lowu each day. By last year this had almost doubled to 229,120. It said that while the growth in cross-border traffic was likely to continue, over-dependence carried risks. A proposed land departure tax and the limiting of train services to Lowu during holidays would probably affect business, it said. Mr Yeung said yesterday he wanted to stay in the job until the West Rail project was completed in 2003. He was speaking after reports he might be replaced by the Secretary for Transport, Nicholas Ng Wing-hui, when his contract finishes at the end of the year. Mr Yeung, who has been with the KCRC since December 1996, said talks about renewing his contract would only start in June and it was too early to speculate.