Kowloon Motor Bus Holdings (KMB) saw attributable profit surge to HK$884.7 million in the first six months from HK$363.5 million a year ago, propelled by a one-off gain from spinning off multimedia 'infotainment' arm RoadShow Group. RoadShow's listing in June prompted a HK$319.5 million gain. RoadShow also did well during the period, with strong advertising income sending attributable profit up HK$55.7 million from HK$10.6 million a year ago. KMB's core franchised bus operation topped the group's profit generators and losses were reduced at Long Win Bus, which runs bus services between north Lantau and Kowloon and the New Territories. The group, which primarily provides bus services in the New Territories, Kowloon and some cross-harbour services, was able to curb operating costs. 'Operating costs . . . increased by 0.6 per cent . . . Such moderate increase was due mainly to various cost-control measures counterbalancing the rise in fuel costs and expenses incurred as a result of enhanced operating activity level,' it said. Profit of KMB's core franchised bus operation grew 40 per cent to HK$508.9 million in the first half due to higher fare revenue and advertising income. An increase in the number of air-conditioned buses and patronage lifted fare revenue 5.2 per cent to HK$3.03 billion. Efforts to boost marketing and advertising was translated into 31.9 per cent growth in advertising revenue to HK$41.8 million. KMB sells advertising space on bus bodies and advertising panels at bus stops. This is differentiated from RoadShow which generates advertising through multimedia onboard liquid crystal display screens. Long Win Bus' loss shrank to HK$6.4 million from HK$20.2 million with passenger increases. Non-franchised bus services performed well, with a 37.2 per cent rise in profit to HK$5.9 million. In China, the profit contribution of KMB's bus service joint-ventures in Tianjin and Dalian was HK$7.4 million in the first half. The group's turnover rose 8.98 per cent to HK$3.32 billion. Profit from operations rose 39.29 per cent to HK$725.3 million. An interim dividend of 40 HK cents was proposed, compared with 33 HK cents last year.