Red chip China Travel International Investment Hong Kong warned it might record a net loss this year if the Sars epidemic was not brought under control in a short time. The profit warning is the latest issued by local companies, most notably in the entertainment, catering, travel and hotel sectors - worst hit by the deadly virus. Turnover at the company's travel and related operations fell by between 50 and 85 per cent year on year last month, managing director Shen Zhuying said. He did not give a breakdown of the sales decline by specific operations, which span tours, hotels, passenger transport and theme parks in both Hong Kong and the mainland. 'If this epidemic is not contained within a short period of time, it will most probably have an overall significant negative impact on the group's performance and asset valuation for the year and there is a possibility of recording a net loss [this] year,' the firm said. The company said it had carried out a series of cost-cutting measures to lessen the epidemic's damage, although it did not go into detail as to what those measures were. Business has been hit hard since the outbreak began, with tourism in particular suffering after the World Health Organisation issued travel warnings against Hong Kong and the mainland. The cancellation of the mainland's Labour Day holiday also hurt operations. The firm's net profit last year fell 16.25 per cent to HK$540.32 million.