Wharf Holdings' earnings in the half to June rose 1.5 per cent year-on-year, to HK$1.15 billion, as the company was helped by lower borrowing costs and better contributions from its cable-television and Internet operations. Revenue was HK$5.8 billion, up from HK$5.77 billion before. Revenue from property investments - which contributes more than half the operating profit - increased 8 per cent to HK$1.91 billion, mostly from higher rentals. But returns from property development fell 32.6 per cent to HK$581 million. 'I had expected the company to report a profit of HK$1.232 billion, so the actual figure was not too alarming,' Salomon Smith Barney investment analyst Robert Fong said. A positive contribution from its cable television and broadband Internet division i-Cable boosted the bottom line. Last week, the listed entertainment and Internet subsidiary reported a profit of HK$77 million for the first half. That compares with a loss of HK$40 million for the equivalent period last year. Throughput at Modern Terminals rose 13 per cent to 1.53 million teu (20-foot equivalent units). Wharf also said it benefited from falling interest rates. Net borrowing costs in the half fell to HK$632 million from HK$844 million before. However, staff costs rose 9 per cent year-on-year to HK$1 billion during the first half. The company has struck an unchanged interim dividend of 28 HK cents per share.