Diversified red chip Tianjin Development Holdings' net profit edged up 4 per cent to HK$95.54 million for the first half to June 30. Turnover rose 12 per cent to HK$789.3 million. Chairman Wang Guanghao said profit growth was much slower than turnover because his company raised more debt in the period and repaid more interests on loans. The increased debt was used to expand a container port in Tianjin city. Annual throughput capacity doubled to 1.6 million 20-foot equivalent units. The red chip's accumulated loans increased to HK$1.47 billion in the first half, up from HK$1.1 billion a year earlier. Financial costs rose 44 per cent year on year to HK$47.26 million. The container port project is part of the company's plan to take part in the city's logistics development. Mr Wang said this would be a new focus of growth. A consortium led by the municipal governments of Beijing and Tianjin discussed plans last year to build a logistics centre for the mainland's north, according to sources. The consortium included Beijing Holdings and Tsinlien Group, the commercial arms of the Beijing and Tianjin municipal governments. Tsinlien Group is the parent of Tianjin Development Holdings. The red chip said it was in talks with two logistics companies to develop air-cargo transportation. The prospective partners were Tianjin Air-cargo Port Logistic Zone and logistics firm Tianjin Materials Group. The company said it might become involved in the logistic zone's three-billion yuan development plan for the next five to 10 years and acquire the logistics firm. The red chip has plans to redevelop stevedoring berths into container ports and build bulk grain warehouses. Its core businesses are wine and soft drink production, infrastructure investments in port container handling and stevedoring and a road, and strategic investments in a gas distributor and bio-pharmaceuticals maker. The company's earnings per share for the first half were 15.74 HK cents, up from 15.34 HK cents a year earlier. An interim dividend four HK cents was announced, up from 3.5 HK cents.