South China gets boost from units

SOUTH China Holdings saw net profit rise strongly by 60 per cent to $70.14 million in the six months ended June 30.

The results were boosted by its subsidiaries, newly listed South China Brokerage and South China Industries.

Earnings per share at the investment, manufacturing and trading group were up just 0.48 per cent to 20.7 cents on a fully diluted basis.

The dividend declared was five cents a share. A special dividend of four cents was paid last year.

Chairman Robert Ng Hung-sang said there had been sharp rises in profit at the two subsidiaries.

''However, earnings per share do not reflect this achievement owing to the issue of additional shares through the one-for-one open offer in May 1992 and the subsequent consolidation of two shares into one,'' he said.

Manufacturing arm South China Industries saw net profit rise 93 per cent to $28.2 million, with earnings per share improving by 55 per cent to 6.2 cents.

The declared interim dividend was two cents. There was a special dividend of 1.5 cents last year.

Mr Ng said: ''In addition to the satisfactory growth in business, we have been successful in getting incremental business in non-peak months, which has resulted in significant contribution to profit.'' Orders for original equipment manufacture toys, especially dinosaur toys, are growing, and footwear had cut losses.

Joint managing director Christina Cheung Choi-ngor said: ''We are still very active in seeking new joint-venture opportunities for the company.'' Mr Ng said the group should have another record year.

At South China Brokerage, net profit surged 35.19 per cent to $60.58 million, with earnings per share up by a similar margin to 30.3 cents.

No interim dividend was announced.

The company was listed on the stock exchange on July 16 this year.

Mr Ng said: ''A combination of factors contributed to an excellent result in the first half of the year.

''Rapid growth of the economies of China and Hong Kong combined with a high level of liquidity in Hong Kong and an inflow of foreign funds pushed the Hang Seng Index up to new records in high volume.'' At the parent holding company, turnover jumped 117.86 per cent to $560.67 million, taking operating profit margin to 16.8 per cent compared with 20.75 per cent in the previous period.

The implied tax bill of the firm stood at 14.7 per cent.

The property investment side of the business includes the finalising of a joint venture in Tianjin Tanggu involving 40,000 sq metres of land.

The group also bought a multi-storey commercial building covering 20,000 sq metres in Tianjin.

A 30,000 sq metre site is set for development at Panyu in Guangdong.

South China Industries saw turnover rise 28.46 per cent to $338.33 million, giving an operating profit margin of 8.4 per cent against 5.63 per cent in the previous period.

Operating profit grew 93.42 per cent to $28.67 million.

The group is involved in a joint venture with Nanjing Micro Motor Works to manufacture and sell micromotors.

It is also in another joint venture with Tianjin Group Co of Leather Shoes to make and sell leather products.

The company has a 22.5 per cent stake in newly listed Nority International, a maker of sports shoes.