CHAMPION Technology Holdings has announced a 42 per cent rise in unaudited profits after tax to $86.4 million for the six months ended December last year. The company is to issue an interim dividend of 1.8 cents a share, with an alternative scrip dividend scheme for the year ending June 30. Champion group chairman Paul Kan said: ''We have now taken the first steps towards becoming a global telecommunications company.'' The Champion consortium has been offered licences to operate paging services in 10 cities in India. The group set up a joint venture in China in December last year to develop, manufacture and sell communications and information products in mainland and overseas markets. It has also formed a joint venture to introduce paging services in Russia.