Sime Darby Hong Kong's net profit rose 28.23 per cent to HK$99 million in the six months to December 31, helped by a recovery of the economy and the launch of new car models. The company, with franchises to sell BMW, Mitsubishi, Ford, Suzuki, Alfa Romeo and Caterpillar vehicles in Hong Kong and part of China, said turnover rose 19.77 per cent to HK$3.22 billion. Earnings per share, at 21.2 HK cents, rose by the same margin as net. However, there will be no interim dividend. The company's biggest shareholder, Malaysian-based Sime Darby, launched a bid to privatise the unit because of inactive trading volume and lack of investor interest. Pending procedural approvals, its listing status will be withdrawn on or before May 31.