Strong product sales saw information-technology service provider Automated Systems Holdings announce a 9.4 per cent rise in net profit to HK$8.7 million for the three months to June. Revenue increased 15.4 per cent to HK$331.4 million. The growth in revenue was mainly because of an increase in product sales and service revenue in the commercial and public sectors. Profit before income tax from continuing operations was HK$10.8 million, up 39.7 per cent from the corresponding period last year. The group continues to maintain a healthy balance sheet, with cash of about HK$204 million as at June 30. 'As the global economy undergoes a gradual recovery, we are pleased to deliver a steady performance for the three-month period,' chief executive Lai Yam-ting says. 'We are gratified that the group has made significant and consistent achievements within the IT infrastructure, solution and services businesses. Notably, we received continuing demand from the financial services and insurance sector. 'By virtue of our presence and the signs of recovery in this sector, we have started to gain the benefits from more activities and increasing IT spending.' Lai says the group achieved growth in revenue and net profit, which was the highlight of the quarter. Product sales and service revenue from continuing operations were HK$196.1 million and HK$135.3 million respectively, up by 12.5 per cent and 19.9 per cent. Commercial and public sector sales from continuing operations were HK$172.8 million and HK$158.6 million, respectively. The group's strategy to promote cross-territories business in Greater China was rewarded with satisfactory results. In addition to winning more bids within the mainland's public sector, the group was also able to secure contracts in wider service offerings from customers who were making investments. Lai says Automated Systems is making strong efforts to explore business opportunities in Greater China after the termination of the territorial agreement with Computer Sciences Corp, the company's former controlling shareholder. 'We project the mainland market to become one of the major revenue earners, on a par with Hong Kong or even more than Hong Kong,' he says. The company recently bagged lucrative contracts. Of note is a regional application virtualisation project worth more than HK$1million from one of the key carriers on the north-south trade route. It involves a wide deployment across Hong Kong, Taiwan, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Singapore, Tianjin, Qingdao, Ningbo and Xiamen. Automated Systems expects that business from the commercial sector will continue to improve from last year. It will retain its core strategy of promoting cross-territories business with an aim to become one of the leading information-technology service providers in Greater China. With the Economic Co-operation Framework Agreement and the cross-strait financial supervisory co-operation memorandum of understanding for Taiwanese corporations and financial institutions to enter the mainland and vice versa, the group expects a closer relationship with Taiwan will offer greater business opportunities. 'With greater synergies between us and Beijing Teamsun Technology, our ultimate controlling shareholder, together with our competitive advantages, we are able to grow within existing operations by providing high-quality services to customers. We will take an active approach to seize regional growth opportunities,' Lai says.