China Green (Holdings), a mainland grower, processor and supplier of agricultural products, expects the average selling price of its fresh produce to climb 5 to 8 per cent this year. The company's net profit jumped 25.5 per cent to 280.2 million yuan (HK$317.8 million) from 223.3 million yuan in the six months to October. Turnover rose 26.7 per cent to 851.8 million yuan. Overall gross profit margin improved to 51.8 per cent from 51.2 per cent. Shares of the company soared 12.7 per cent to HK$10.48 yesterday. Gavin Ip, executive director and chief financial officer, said robust growth would continue this year despite the unpredictable weather conditions and inflation. 'We may face rising labour costs and more expensive farm products in a time of inflation. In that case, we have to raise our prices, although it may affect our sales at the end,' said Ip. He cited as factors the loose monetary policy maintained by many countries and the snowstorms in China and the United States. China Green plans to secure 15 per cent more farmland annually over the coming years. By the end of the 2010 financial year, it expects to expand to more than 61 million square metres with a production capacity of 366,000 tonnes. As part of its development plan, the company will extend its market from south China to the country's central and northern region and promote its products in cities such as Shanghai and Hangzhou. Meanwhile, its export markets will be focused on Europe and Japan. Ip said branded beverages recorded a remarkable growth of 60 per cent last year, and the company intended to put more resources in the sector. China Green announced an interim dividend of 9 HK cents for the period.