Packaging-maker and printer Kith Holdings' net profit in the first half to June 30 edged up 7.8 per cent from a year earlier to HK$20.14 million. Turnover jumped 69.4 per cent from a year earlier to HK$331.37 million, bolstered by the company's diversification into the lower-margin electronic component distribution business in June last year. The company's turnover from its packaging printing business rose 16.4 per cent in the period and accounted for 54.4 per cent of the total. Clients are mainly cigarette makers, which accounted for 96.2 per cent of the revenue from the packaging printing business. The remaining revenue came from manufacturers of wine, pharmaceuticals and health products. Sales of the distribution business rose 277.5 per cent and equalled 45.6 per cent of the turnover. Earnings per share were 7.57 HK cents, up from 7.03 HK cents a year earlier. An interim dividend of 1.5 HK cents will be paid. Chairman and managing director Andrew Hui King-chun said his company would expand its mainland operations by setting up three more package printing joint ventures with domestic partners. Each project will call for a total investment of between US$5 million and US$8 million. 'We expect to reach an agreement for the first project in the last quarter this year or the first quarter next year,' he said. Mr Hui said China's successful bid to join the World Trade Organisation would stimulate demand for his company's high-quality anti-counterfeit packaging printing products.