Profits of China's major industrial firms neared 6.2 trillion yuan ($885.7 billion) in 2019, with the high-tech manufacturing industry outshining other sectors, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Monday.
Profits were down 3.3 percent year on year, widening from a 2.1-percent decrease registered during the first 11 months of 2019.
"Factors including weak demand, lower prices of industrial products and rising costs led to the fall in profits," said NBS senior statistician Zhu Hong.
Revenues of major industrial companies rose 3.8 percent year on year last year, slowing from an 8.6-percent growth in 2018. Coupled with higher costs, profitability was squeezed, Zhu noted.
Key industrial sectors such as steel, chemical engineering, automobile and petroleum processing reported steep profit declines, down by 37.6 percent, 25.6 percent, 15.9 percent and 42.5 percent from a year earlier, respectively.
Profits of state-owned industrial firms dropped 12 percent from one year earlier to 1.64 trillion yuan.
In December alone, profits of major industrial firms dipped 6.3 percent year on year.
Despite overall profit declines, there were still some bright spots, according to Zhu.
The high-tech manufacturing and emerging industries continued to expand steadily, with their profits rising 4.8 percent and 3 percent from a year earlier, respectively.
Thanks to the large-scale tax and fee cuts and other support policies, private and small companies enjoyed a better business environment. Their profits bucked the downward trend to expand 2.2 percent and 5 percent year on year, respectively.
Some 28 out of the 41 industrial sectors reported year-on-year profit growth last year.
Nine sectors even witnessed double-digit profit growth. Profits of special equipment manufacturing, and the alcoholic beverage and refined tea industry jumped 12.9 percent and 10.2 percent year on year, respectively.
Sectors such as building materials, pharmaceutical manufacturing and food manufacturing saw their profit growth ranging from 5 percent to 10 percent in 2019.
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