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Industrial profits soar 20.9% in first five months
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China's industrial firms reported 1.09 trillion yuan (158.6 billion U.S.dollars) in profits in the first five months of this year, up 20.9 percent from the same period last year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Friday.

The growth rate was 4.4 percentage points higher than figure for January and February, but 21.2 percentage points lower than the first five months of last year.

The NBS statistics covered the profits of major industrial enterprises defined as those with more than 5 million yuan in revenues from their main business annually.

The NBS said the profits of state-owned industrial companies only rose 1.5 percent to 424.6 billion yuan, largely affected by the weak energy and oil refining sectors.

Power utilities' profits fell 74 percent year-on-year. Oil refineries and coking plants moved to a loss of 44.3 billion yuan from a profit of 35.2 billion yuan at the same time last year.

But other sectors, including oil, gas, coal and construction material production, saw profits surge more than 50 percent. Profits of steel companies rose 25.6 percent and those of chemical plants rose 26 percent.

The NBS also reported profits for privately-owned industrial firms were up 51 percent and foreign-funded companies up 22.4 percent.

(Xinhua News Agency June 27, 2008)

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