Yip's Chemical Holdings is scouting for opportunities to acquire rivals in the thinners and varnishes business segment as high oil prices force some out of the market. Speaking after reporting a 28 per cent rise in net profit to $123.15 million for the year to March, chairman Tony Yip Chi-shing said: 'Some of our competitors have suffered in the difficult operating environment in the past two years, so we are looking at merger and acquisition opportunities and have had many preliminary contacts with them.' High oil prices cut operating profit in Yip's thinners and varnishes division by 19.3 per cent to $32.2 million. The paints division slipped 6.4 per cent to $30.2 million, the inks division fell 15.6 per cent to $14 million, and the resins division plunged 76.9 per cent to $252,000. However, the raw solvent division saw operating profit surge 235.5 per cent to $132.4 million. Short supply meant Yip's was able to pass on higher petroleum-based raw material costs to customers.