Hurt by fierce price competition and an unusually wet June in southern China, air-conditioner and refrigerator manufacturer Gzitic Hualing Holdings' interim profit fell 37.6 per cent. The Guangzhou municipal government-backed appliance maker's first-half net profit was HK$38.06 million, against HK$61.05 million before. The Hong Kong-listed company's earnings per share fell to 3.2 HK cents from 5.2 HK cents last year. Turnover was 9.27 per cent lower year on year at HK$949.71 million. Chairman Chen Xiaoshi attributed the drop in turnover to inclement weather in southern and eastern China during June. This reduced demand for air-conditioners. It sold 287,000 units, a rise of 13 per cent year on year, but the growth reflected the impact of exports, as mainland sales fell 3.3 per cent to 148,000 units. By contrast, refrigerator sales grew on both the export front and the local market, though the price wars showed through in a 7.4 per cent rise in sales resulting in a 6.4 per cent drop in turnover, to HK$173.04 million. To sidestep the mainland price war Gzitic Hualing plans to increase its exports of air-conditioners and refrigerators. In the first half air-conditioner export sales volumes grew 165 per cent and refrigerator exports were up 11.8 per cent. First-half export sales of US$25 million put it on track to overhaul last year's full-year income of US$42 million.