Warmer weather helped CLP Holdings' turnover grow 5.5 per cent year on year to HK$20 billion for the nine months to September. CLP, the sole electricity supplier in Kowloon, the New Territories and Lantau, said sales jumped 3.6 per cent to 21.15 billion kilowatt hours during the period. The result was even stronger when mainland sales were included. Total sales grew 6 per cent to 22.96 billion kW hours. The company said yesterday the average temperature in Hong Kong was one degree celsius higher than normal over the period, with strong consumption growth recorded in residential and commercial sectors. A third interim dividend of 38 HK cents was recommended, up 8.57 per cent from the previous nine months. During the nine-month period, sales growth to the mainland remained strong at 45.1 per cent thanks largely to shortages in Guangdong and system constraints at the province's Guang-Dian power grid. Despite the strong growth of its regulated electricity business, CLP is allowed to earn a maximum return of 15 per cent of its average net fixed asset value under the Scheme of Control agreement. The company is expected to freeze tariffs and offer rebates next year as its development fund is hefty. The fund stood at HK$3.17 billion as of December 31 last year. A decision is due next month after the company finishes discussing with the government its financial plan and tariff levels. Meanwhile, Hongkong Electric Holdings is expected to raise tariffs by an average 4.5 per cent next year to finance its Lamma power plant extension. Another reason is that the firm's development fund is drying up. It stood at HK$138 million last year.