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Net Profit of Listed Companies Declines in Q1
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The net profits of 1,340 companies listed on China's stock market totaled 41.76 billion yuan (US$5.22 billion) in the first quarter of this year, down 13.29 percent year on year, the China Securities Journal reported on Monday.


Quarterly reports of these companies show that although their business revenue rose 16.09 percent year on year in the first three months, the net profit actually declined, the newspaper said.


Among the 1,340 companies, 225 had losses, accounting for 19 percent of the total. Companies in real estate, food, beverage, power and the media performed well, while those in electronic appliances, transport and metals are in difficulty.


The soaring price and strong demand in the property market boosted net profit of 52 listed estate corporations in the first quarter by 30.36 percent year on year to 1.272 billion yuan.


Figures released by the Beijing municipal committee of construction indicated that housing prices soared by 14.8 percent in the first three months of 2006. Meanwhile, those in Shanghai, Shenzhen and other major cities in China also went up.


Of the 58 listed companies in food and beverage, 52 were profitable. Their net profit jumped 33.38 percent year on year to 2.14 billion yuan. Due to the rocketing price of sugar, the Nanning Sugar Corporation saw its net profit jump 33 times year on year in the first quarter.


The net profit of 10 listed companies in the media and cultural industry jumped 118.6 percent year on year to 22 million yuan, the newspaper said.


Price hikes for raw materials and energy made the downstream companies unlucky. Although the business revenue of transport and warehousing companies rose 22.16 percent in the first quarter, their net profit dropped 35.36 percent year on year to 2.3 billion yuan.


The surging jet fuel price has caused China Eastern Airlines to lose 950 million yuan in the first quarter, and China Southern Airlines to lose 660 million yuan.


High oil prices also brought petrochemical, plastic companies into difficulty. The net profit of 145 such companies listed in China dropped 16.74 percent year on year in the first quarter.


The loss of the electronic industry totaled 260 million yuan in the first quarter, up 68.4 percent year on year. The newspaper attributed this to the weak innovation capacity of Chinese companies and accelerated expansion of multinational companies in the domestic market.


(Xinhua News Agency May 16, 2006)


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