CHEN Hsong Holdings reported a better-than-expected result for the six months to September 30, with after-tax profit before minority interests jumping 23 per cent to $79.18 million. Group turnover soared 36 per cent to $438.77 million and the directors declared an interim dividend of five cents a share. Fully diluted earnings per share rose about 28 per cent to 13.3 cents. Group chairman Chen Yuen-Chiang attributed the improvement to the introduction of more sophisticated technology and automated production facilities, giving higher efficiency and volume. ''As a result, the group's performance was better than expected,'' he said. Mr Chen said Hong Kong would remain the group's largest market, with strong demand for industrial machines. Production capacity would increase when its new 30,000-square foot production plant in the Tai Po Industrial Estate became operational in early 1995. He said that, in line with the group's expansion plans and diversification strategy, the group had entered into joint ventures on the mainland to make die-casting machines and hydraulic equipment. These would start production next year. The group would consider setting up joint ventures to produce plastic blow-moulding and plastic extrusion machines. Chen Hsong would also try to expand its presence in Southeast Asian markets and explore co-operative ventures with European manufacturers. ''Given the bright outlook for the future of the plastics industry, and our long-standing experience in this field, we confidently expect to report a satisfactory result for the financial year 1993-94.''