FILM producer Shaw Brothers made a better than expected $354.54 million profit in the year to March 31, up 55 per cent on $228.66 million in the 1992-93 financial year. Earnings per share increased by 56 per cent to 89 cents, up from 57 cents in 1992-93. A final dividend of 30 cents was recommended, to be paid on October 19 to shareholders named on the register on September 23. Together with the interim dividend of eight cents, the total dividend for the year comes to 38 cents. Turnover increased from $350.12 million, up from $237.57 million in 1992-93. The company booked $10 million from the sale of a Letter A Land Exchange Entitlement as an exceptional profit. Analysts forecast the company to report a net profit rise of between 9.33 and 48.25 per cent in 1993-94, according to the Estimate Directory. They said the good result was probably attributable to strong earnings at TVB, in which Shaw Brothers had a 33 per cent stake. The sale of real estate also fuelled earnings. Shaw Brothers sold 58 residential units for $72 million, according to Bloomberg. Shaw has been one of the better-performing second-line counters on speculation that the group might sell its share in TVB to an outside party. Rumours in Britain that media group Pearson is considering buying a stake in TVB have caused the latter's share price to shoot up. Shaw Brothers derives about 40 per cent of its earnings from TVB, but selling part of its stake would result in a windfall profit. Pearson is keen to get into the Asian television market, having been beaten to STAR TV by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. In July, there were also rumours that Shaw Brothers was considering selling 10 per cent of its stake in TVB to Warner Brothers.