New World Infrastructure's (NWI) non-infrastructure businesses, mainly technology projects, were expected to grow rapidly and would account for half of the company's total profits in two to three years, according to a senior executive. After the annual general meeting yesterday, managing director Douglas Chan Wing-tak said in the long-term, non-infrastructure business would account for up to 80 per cent of the company's profits. He said while there was limited room for the company's mainland infrastructure businesses to grow, there was considerable growth potential and higher investment returns in technology and other businesses. According to NWI's most recent annual report, its electronic infrastructure and technology businesses recorded a loss of HK$33.32 million in the year to June this year and a loss of HK$1.67 million in the year to June last year. Most of its operating profit came from basic infrastructure businesses such as cargo handling, roads and bridges. Mr Chan said its technology projects in the mainland would be ready for commercial use by March or April next year. He said the first phase of testing of the company's new data transmission technology had been completed in Shanghai. A second phase of testing would be carried out in three to 10 key mainland cities. It cost US$3 million to US$50 million per city to test the technology. He said the technology had already been tested in Hong Kong. The company hoped to link the data transmission network in Hong Kong with the Shenzhen and Guangzhou networks and to launch services in the SAR in March next year. In Hong Kong, the data-transmission technology was targeted at stock investors, replacing their one-way share-market information shown on pagers. NWI would commission New World Telephone to manage the Hong Kong network. New World Telephone is a subsidiary of New World Development, the parent of NWI. Mr Chan also said NWI had had talks with China over the possibility of floating A shares of the company in the mainland. Meanwhile, NWI chairman Henry Cheng Kar-shun said NWI held a very small amount of H shares and if prices were satisfactory it would sell them off.