Shangri-La Asia avoided any dent to interim profits, despite booking a US$6 million provision for the fall in value of its hotel in Jakarta and an overall decline in average occupancy rate. The hotel group recorded net profit of US$30.49 million in the six months to June 30, up 0.8 per cent from a year ago. Turnover fell 8 per cent to US$310.5 million. An interim dividend of seven HK cents will be paid. Basic earnings per share were 1.36 US cents and net asset value per share was US$1.33, down 0.7 per cent from a year ago. Chief financial officer Madhu Rao said the provision was mainly charged for The Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta because of an industrial relations problem in December last year. The hotel was closed for three months after some employee unions illegally occupied the premises, he said. During the half-year period, the overall average occupancy rate dropped to 61 per cent from 69 per cent, with Indonesia diving to 14 per cent from 48 per cent previously. In Hong Kong, the occupancy rate of the Kowloon and Island Shangri-La hotels fell to 71 per cent from 79 per cent. 'Though the year began with hotels experiencing a good improvement in yields, the momentum slowed in the ensuing few months with the problems faced in major economies of the United States, Europe and Japan, and the continuing political uncertainties in Indonesia, Fiji and the Philippines,' said chairman Ye Longfei. 'It is envisaged that the negative sentiment triggered by these developments will dampen business travel and spending also in the second half of this year,' he said. Mr Ye, however, welcomed the Government's latest attempts to boost Hong Kong's tourism, saying it would be positive for the hotel industry. Yesterday, the Government announced it would invest more than HK$18 billion over the next five years into various projects to boost the tourism industry, one of Hong Kong's largest foreign-currency earners. For the six months to June 30, revenue was driven mainly by China while Hong Kong and Southeast Asia recorded a decline in contribution. In China, revenue rose 16 per cent to US$20.5 million, while Singapore contributed US$12.9 million, up 1 per cent from a year ago. In Hong Kong, revenue dropped 11 per cent to US$18.3 million, Philippines fell 28 per cent to US$14.5 million, Malaysia eased 20 per cent to US$7 million and Thailand amounted to US$8.5 million, down 11 per cent from a year earlier. Mr Rao warned that the average room rate in Hong Kong would continue to be under pressure in the second half of the year but ruled out a drastic cut among hoteliers. Shangri-La Group is part of Robert Kuok's Kerry Group, the largest shareholder in South China Morning Post (Holdings).