WING On International Holdings has lifted interim net profits before extraordinaries by 17.5 per cent to $109.9 million. It made an extraordinary profit of $315.4 million during the six months to June 30 by selling its interests in Wing On Bank. Wing On International held a 50.06 per cent controlling stake in the bank before its sale to Dah Sing Financial Holdings this year. Directors proposed an increased interim dividend of eight cents per share plus a special dividend of 20 cents per share to reflect the bank sale. Group turnover rose 11.5 per cent to $1.4 billion. Wing On said that, like other retailers in Hong Kong, its department stores had been affected by high rent and staff costs and a softer consumer market. However, its property rental income had risen moderately as occupancy had increased. Interest income and profit from the group's investments and securities dealing activities also increased during the period. The Dah Chong Hong Trading Corp group in the US made an after-tax profit of about $6.2 million. Analysts predict a five per cent year rise in net profits before extraordinaries to $293 million for Wing On International, according to the October edition of the Estimate Directory.