CHI Cheung Investment Co reported a 32.8 per cent rise in after-tax profit, compared with the same period last year, to $66.33 million for the six months to June 30. Turnover fell 7.9 per cent to $37.9 million. Earnings per share increased 24 per cent to 31 cents on a weighted basis. On a diluted basis, earnings per share rose 20 per cent to six cents. An interim dividend of six cents per share was declared. According to group chairman and chief executive officer Paul Ng Kwok-cheung, profits in the first half included a contribution from the sale of part or all of the group's interest in properties at Hennessy Road, Baguio Terrace, New Mandarin Plaza and Hankow Centre. ''We did not engage in substantial purchases in Hong Kong in the first half of this year, anticipating a correction of the property market,'' Mr Ng said. ''The disposal of part of our property holding in Hong Kong has strengthened our buying power for going into the market again when it has hit bottom. ''With the results that we achieved in the first half, we are confident that the current financial year will be another rewarding experience for our shareholders.''