NWS Holdings said net profit for the first half to December surged 144.5 per cent, largely boosted by the sales of Harbour Place apartments. The services and infrastructure arm of New World Development said profit rose to HK$2.23 billion from HK$912.2 million a year earlier. Revenue jumped 35.8 per cent to HK$9.37 billion from HK$6.9 billion. An interim dividend of 55 HK cents was declared, up from 25 HK cents a year before. 'Income from property sales was expected but operations of toll roads and contribution from Taifook Securities largely outperformed,' said Credit Suisse analyst Cusson Leung. The company reaped a profit of HK$1.015 billion from the sale of Harbour Place, a joint venture with Sun Hung Kai Properties. The project, formerly Hunghom Peninsula, was built under the now defunct government-subsidised Private Sector Participation Scheme. At the end of last year, 940 of the 2,470 units at the project had been sold at average HK$7,000 a square foot. Toll roads contributed an operating profit of HK$363.7 million, up 27.6 per cent, while financial services jumped 361.5 per cent to HK$214.6 million, largely driven by the robust stock market last year. NWS raised its stake in Taifook Securities from 21.49 per cent to 57.59 per cent last June. 'Sales of Harbour Place will continue to be the growth driver given the better view of the remaining units and higher market price. Meanwhile, toll roads are expected to deliver shining operating results given the introduction of the toll-by-weight policy,' said Mr Leung. However, he said the company's power plants operations would be under pressure given rising fuel costs. Executive director Tommy Cheung Chin-cheung said a 19 per cent rise in coal prices because of snowstorms on the mainland this year would be offset by cost-saving measures. Coal prices would soften when transportation resumed to its normal level, he said.