Chen Hsong Holdings, a manufacturer of injection-moulding machines for plastics, reported a 34.36 per cent slump in net profit to HK$50.16 million in the six month to September 30. Turnover dropped 12.8 per cent to HK$571.88 million. An interim dividend of four HK cents per share will be distributed. Deputy chief executive Chiang Lai-yuen said a drastic drop in sales in Taiwan accounted for the lower profit in the half year. 'Performance in the first half was affected by weakness in the Taiwan segment,' said Ms Chiang. 'The Taiwan economy depends heavily on exports to the United States market. Our customers in the electronics, computer and telecommunications industries were particularly hard hit by this year's US recession.' Turnover in Taiwan slumped 60.92 per cent to HK$65.61 million in the six months to September 30, compared with HK$167.91 million in the same period of last year. Lower interest returns due to the drop in interest rates and investment projects in the mainland also drove down the interim net profits, said Ms Chiang. The adverse economic situation put pressure on prices, she said. 'There is a trend of cutting prices with deflation. Our price of our product dropped about 10 per cent,' she said. Apart from the unexpected cut in the Taiwan market, she said, the group's business had performed in line with expectation, with increasing sales in the US, Europe and China. Turnover in Europe and the US increased 70.1 per cent to HK$34.01 million. In China, turnover rose 9.53 per cent to HK$328.57 million. Ms Chiang said the firm's eastern China sales outlets were doing well, returning an average turnover of HK$7 million each month since operations started in August.