BEIJING (Reuters) – Profits of China’s state-owned non-financial firms fell 5.7 percent in the first four months of 2015 from a year earlier, official data showed, compared with an 8 percent drop in the first quarter and 21.5 percent slide in the first two months.
Such companies made combined profits of 704.06 billion yuan ($113.54 billion) in January-April, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement on Monday on its website.
A breakdown showed profits of firms owned by the central
government fell 7.2 percent and profits of firms owned by local governments declined 0.8 percent.
“The economic performance of state-owned enterprises and firms in which the state holds a controlling stake is improving as policy measures adopted by the central authorities to stabilize growth gradually take effect,” the ministry said.
Profits of state firms climbed 7.3 percent in the January-April period from year ago, after adjusting for a sharper fall in earnings of three oil majors – China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), Sinopec Group and China National Offshore Oil Corp, it said.
When the country’s three oil majors – China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), Sinopec Group and China National Offshore Oil Corp – are excluded, then profits of non-financial state firms climbed 7.3 percent in January-April from a year earlier.
When China’s three oil majors are excluded – China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), Sinopec Group and China National Offshore Oil Corp – then profits of non-financial state firms climbed 7.3 percent in January-April from a year earlier.
Companies in the transportation, electronics and power sectors reported a rise in profit in the January-April period, while coal, steel and non-ferrous metal sectors suffered losses.
The central bank has cut interest rates and bank reserve requirements to lower borrowing costs and encourage more lending, while the government is stepping up fiscal spending.
China’s annual economic growth slowed to a six-year-low of 7 percent in the first quarter, weighed down by a cooling property sector, and recent data showed a further loss of momentum heading into the second quarter.
Annual growth in profits of China’s state-owned firms slowed
to 3.4 percent in 2014 from 5.9 percent the previous year as factories struggled to cope with falling prices amid an economic slowdown.
(Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Richard Borsuk)