BEIJING — China’s major industrial firms saw stronger profit growth in the first two months of this year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on March 27.
Industrial companies respectively with annual revenue of more than 20 million yuan (about $3.2 million) reported profits of 969 billion yuan in the first two months, a 16.1-percent increase from a year earlier, the NBS said in a statement.
The reading was 5.3 percentage points higher than the growth registered in December, according to the NBS.
Among the 41 industries surveyed, 29 posted year-on-year profit growth during the Jan-Feb period.
Industries like pharmaceuticals, coal mining and textiles all reported faster growth during the two-month period, said the NBS.
NBS statistician He Ping attributed the profit growth to improved profitability and reduced costs.
“While industrial profits maintained rapid growth, improvements were made in efficiency and profitability,” He said.
In the first two months, costs per 100 yuan of revenue dropped 0.33 yuan from the same period last year, according to He.
In the meantime, the profit rate of major industrial companies rose by 0.33 percentage points to 6.1 percent.
He mentioned that the leverage ratio in Chinese industrial enterprises fell. By the end of February, their debt-asset ratio dropped 0.8 percentage points from a year ago to 56.3 percent.
The companies also reported healthier balance sheets. The average collection period for accounts receivable decreased from 47.6 days a year earlier to 47.4 days by the end of February.
The NBS statistician also highlighted the strong performance of State-owned major industrial companies whose profits surged 29.6 percent in the first two months.
The industrial sector, which accounts for about one-third of China’s GDP, kicked off 2018 on a strong note with better-than-expected data for the first two months.
Industrial output expanded at 7.2 percent year-on-year in the first two months, accelerating from 6.2 percent growth in December 2017.
China is aiming for economic expansion of around 6.5 percent this year, unchanged from 2017, according to the government work report.