Casino tycoon Stanley Ho Hung-sun's Shun Tak Holdings recorded a 56.96 per cent fall in interim profit to $119.8 million as property sales dropped and the ferry services, mainly between Hong Kong and Macau, were adversely affected by the Sars outbreak. Interim dividend was cut from 3.5 cents a year ago to 1.5 cents. Earnings per share were 6.2 cents against 16 cents previously. For the six months to June, operating profit from the property division plunged 63.9 per cent to $110.2 million, while shipping and hospitality suffered a combined loss of $31.3 million. 'In view of the rapid economic development in the Pearl River Delta and the recent relaxation of travel applications for Hong Kong and Macau by individual tourists from the mainland, the delta's tourism growth is expected to continue to benefit the group,' Shun Tak said.