PUBLISHER Sing Tao Holdings saw net profits rise 39.75 per cent for the year ended March 31 - but only because of a huge exceptional gain. Attributable profit of $427.5 million, against $305.9 million a year earlier, was pushed up by exceptional items of $153.91 million. The company also announced yesterday a cash bonus of 10 cents a share and a share bonus issue of one for 10. This would be on top of a final dividend of 25 cents a share, against 20 cents a year earlier. The total payout for the year would be 35 cents a share, compared with 30 cents in the previous year. Earnings per share were $1.13 against 93.4 cents the year before. Excluding the exceptional gains, operating profit was $402.73 million against $510.06 million previously. Turnover was $2.27 billion, compared with $1.9 billion a year ago. Chairman Sally Aw Sian said operating profit was mainly affected by a fall in newspaper and commercial printing revenues. ''In the face of intense competition for job advertising and a fall in demand for China property advertising from developers, the turnover of Hong Kong newspapers was maintained,'' she said. ''However, operating costs increased both from inflationary pressures and a conscious investment in improving the news team to position the newspaper for future growth. ''Packaging printing was affected by a reduction in demand for customers' products and commercial printing suffered from book publishers restraining their inventory levels and competition from European printers following the devaluation of their currencies.'' The exceptional item was made up of a $127.75 million from the disposal of the group's Sea View Estate in North Point, $8.88 million from the sale of other investment properties, and $27.37 million from the sale of shares in comic and Tin Tin Daily publisher Culturecom Holdings, formerly Jademan (Holdings). Sing Tao and Miss Aw jointly acquired shares in Jademan from Tony Wong Chun-loong, former Jademan chairman. They bid $311 million for a 34 per cent stake in May last year to increase the Aw-Sing Tao stake to 57.9 per cent with Miss Aw holding 17 per cent. Sing Tao obtained a waiver from making a general offer. The price was a 38 per cent discount to the share price at the time. Most of the deal was held up by a legal tangle until it was cleared in November last year. Miss Aw and Sing Tao acquired 96.8 million shares in June last year for $133.6 million but the remaining 129 million option shares were caught up in a tussle between Mr Wong and former partners. The company said previously written-off goodwill of $10.57 was written back following the disposal of a subsidiary. There were negative items in the exceptionals totalling $10.08 million, which included $2.52 million from devaluations of properties, and $1.75 million in losses on sale of a subsidiary. Another portion of the negative exceptionals was $5.82 million in charges relating to the group's two-year bank debt restructuring plan. The plan was ended on July 8, 16 days early, but deals were forged to refinance loans with two banks which had amounts outstanding. The restructuring plan was announced in December 1991 between the group and 12 of its bankers. In 1992, gearing was 230 per cent, last year it was 90 per cent, according to the 1992-93 annual report.