Cash-rich NWS Holdings is looking for more acquisitions on the mainland in the toll-road and water facility sectors this year after it reported a 183 per cent increase in net profit for the six months to December. The conglomerate's net profit rose to HK$2.3 billion from HK$813.3 million in 2008, thanks to a HK$728.7 million one-off gain from the partial disposal of Taifook Securities and HK$327.7 million profit from the sale of flats in Harbour Place, a residential project in Hung Hom. About 21 flats remained unsold as of December 31. The total cash and cash equivalent held by the company is more than HK$7.9 billion and it has a net cash position of HK$1.5 billion. About 56 per cent of earnings, or 62 cents a share, would be passed on to shareholders as a dividend. 'We will capitalise our net cash position and continue to invest in mega-infrastructure projects on the mainland, such as toll roads and water plants,' executive director Tsang Yam-pui said yesterday. Last year, the company committed a total investment of 1.9 billion yuan (HK$2.16 billion) for three water plants on the mainland. Its underlying business also saw a 21 per cent gain in operating profit due to robust profit growth in its Zhuhai and Macau power plants. The operating profit of its power business surged to HK$216.9 million from HK$42.8 million in 2008. The operating profit from its core business, including financial services and infrastructure, increased 21 per cent to HK$1.5 billion. Tsang said the firm also aims to spin off its container terminals joint venture with the railways ministry.