THE reduction in distribution of leather materials to China was one factor that led to a fall in Hop Ying International Holdings' profit by 72.99 per cent to $8.08 million for the year ended March 31. Directors said the imposition of a value-added tax (VAT) on goods and products by China late last year had hurt the group's sales. The company also had to lower gross profit margins to remain competitive, they said, adding that the group's new business of agencies for properties in China had also made no progress because of the slump in sales of China properties. They said although profit was lower, the group's net asset value rose 48.5 per cent from $101 million to $150 million. Turnover rose to $416.57 million from $410.63 million. Earnings per fully diluted share fell to 3.9 cents from 13.2 cents. The directors recommended a final dividend of 1.5 cents per share to make a total of three cents per share for the year.