A slowdown in the major textile and garment importing economies impacted on the first-half performance of Fong's Industries, the Hong Kong-based supplier of dyeing and finishing machinery.

For the six months ended June 30, 2001 the group's consolidated turnover fell to HK$385.78 million, down from HK$426.76 million in the same period in 2000, with sales of dyeing and finishing machinery dropping by 14.3 per cent.

The Chinese mainland continues to be a strong market for the company and, despite external uncertainties, its accession into the World Trade Organisation should be reflected in continuing demand for Fong's equipment. The group is also well positioned to take advantage of new opportunities brought about as the industry modernises its textile machinery.

An encouraging response to the 'Monfongs' stenter machines launched by joint venture company Monforts Fong's Textile Machinery Co in the Chinese market means that production is likely to be doubled this year compared to the last financial year.

And Fong's association with colourwoven fabrics manufacturer Foshan East Asia Company Limited "remained stable, with healthy growth in both turnover and profit." In the second-half, an improved outlook in the Asian region and the re-engineering efforts put in place last year to improve production quality and efficiency should yield results.