China's industrial profits shrink in Jan-May

BEIJING, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Profits of China's major industrial firms fell 2.3 percent year on year in the January-May period, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Thursday.

The decline narrowed 1.1 percentage points from the first four months, according to the NBS.

Combined profits of industrial firms with annual revenue of more than 20 million yuan (about 2.91 million U.S. dollars) amounted to 2.38 trillion yuan in the first five months.

Specifically, profits of state-owned industrial firms dropped 9.7 percent from one year earlier to 734.23 billion yuan, while those of private ones reached 607.27 billion yuan, a 6.6-percent year-on-year increase.

Major industrial firms' operating revenue reached 41.61 trillion yuan in the period, up 5.1 percent from year on year, the NBS data showed.

Assets of major industrial firms totaled 113.35 trillion yuan, up 6.3 percent year on year.

Companies in mining posted a profit growth of 4.7 percent in the five months, while those in the manufacturing industry saw a 4.1-percent decline in profits.

Among the 41 sub-sectors, 26 saw higher profits and 15 reported lower earnings.

In May alone, major industrial firms' profits reversed April's drop to register a 1.1-percent year-on-year increase, according to the NBS data.

Zhu Hong, an NBS senior statistician, attributed May's profit growth to a sequence of positive factors, including sales growth, recovery of equipment manufacturing and coal industries and slower costs increase.

May also saw a rebound of hi-tech manufacturing and some strategic emerging industries, with their profits leaping upward from April's downturn, Zhu said.

Citing last month's data, Zhu highlighted the improvement of production efficiency and the country's achievement in reducing enterprise leverage.

As of the end of last month, it took major industrial firms 17.5 days to turn over their finished goods inventories, 0.1 days shorter than a year earlier, Zhu said.

The asset-liability ratio of major industrial firms continued to decline, according to Zhu. The ratio stood at 56.8 percent at the end of April, down 0.6 percentage points year on year.

For state-owned industrial companies, the ratio fell 1.4 percentage points year on year to 58.3 percent, Zhu added.

Chinese authorities have pledged to stick with supply-side structural reform and rolled out a raft of measures to cut taxes and fees for firms, in response to increased downward pressure in the economy.


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