SOUTH China Morning Post Holdings (SCMP) anticipates that its operating profit this year will exceed the figure up to the end of December last year. Chairman Robert Kuok Hock Nien - a Malaysian hotel and sugar tycoon - said the group had achieved a $312.12 million operating profits for the six months to December 31, 1993, compared with $288.1 million in the previous corresponding period. Over the same period, SCMP reported a rise of 1.81 per cent in profit attributable to shareholders to $258.35 million, against $253.76 million previously. Turnover rose 11.45 per cent to $590.52 million, up from $529.83 million. Directors declared earnings per share of 17.22 cents and a second interim dividend of six cents per share. The group recently sold its loss-making Chinese newspaper Wah Kiu Yat Po for $20 million, while retaining a 19.8 per cent stake in order to keep a strategic interest in Chinese-language publishing. SCMP also bought two floors in the Bank of America Tower in December, maintaining the benefits of having a city office.