Industrial firms' profit increase weak in November

Updated 2017-12-28 11:00:21 China Daily
A worker checks the quality of wind turbine fans in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province.(Photo by Geng Yuhe/for China Daily)

A worker checks the quality of wind turbine fans in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province.(Photo by Geng Yuhe/for China Daily)

Analysts say enterprises may continue to register high growth next year

Profits of China's industrial enterprises grew at their slowest pace in seven months in November, but analysts said the profit growth of those firms will not fall sharply in the coming months.

Profits in November rose 14.9 percent year-on-year to 785.8 billion yuan (0.15 billion), compared with 25.1 percent in October, the National Bureau of Statistics said on its website on Wednesday. This was the slowest monthly growth rate since April's 14 percent.

In the first 11 months, profits increased 21.9 percent year-on-year, down from 23.3 percent in the January-October period.

Mining-related industries registered the fastest profit growth. In the first 11 months, their profits increased 2.9 times to reach 443.4 billion yuan. More than half of the profit growth in that period were contributed by coal mining and washing, iron and steel smelting and processing, chemicals, and oil and natural gas extraction, according to the NBS statement.

Manufacturing industries registered 18.9 percent profit growth in the same period, while profits in the power, heating, gas and water sectors fell 12.8 percent year-on-year, the NBS said.

The lower growth of earnings in November was caused by a slower pace of price rises, He Ping, a senior statistician of the NBS, said in a statement.

"Previous price increases were concentrated in upstream industries like coal and steel. Inflation in those areas is slowing, and the transmission of higher prices to downstream industries hasn't been very strong, which hurts profit margins," Ye Bingnan, an economist at BOC International in Beijing, told Reuters.

He from the NBS said: "On the whole, however, China's industrial enterprises have seen their profit-making situation continually improving this year."

He said the operational efficiency of Chinese industrial enterprises, for example, has been on the rise. In the first 11 months, the costs of major industrial enterprises fell 0.5 percent year-on-year.

Their leverage levels have also fallen, indicating lower operational risks, He said. By the end of November, the asset-liability ratio of major industrial firms was 55.8 percent, down by half a percentage point compared with a year ago, he said.

High-tech manufacturing enterprises had stronger profit-making capacity in the January-November period, according to He.

Although China's economic growth is expected to be slightly slower next year, analysts said its industrial enterprises may continue to register high profit growth rates.

"The possibility of Chinese industrial enterprises continuing to have sharp profit growth falls is small despite the decline in November," said a Huatai Securities research note. "It is only a single-month fluctuation."

China's environmental protection and excessive production capacity reduction moves, which have cut production in some sectors and pushed up their profits, may continue next year, which will boost corporate profits, the note said.

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