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Central SOEs profits decline in Q1, but more slowly
Updated: 2009-04-25 14:40

Profits of companies controlled by China's central government continued to fall in the first quarter but at a slower pace, as the stimulus package showed positive effects on their performance, the State-owned enterprise (SOE) watchdog said Friday.

The 138 SOEs directly controlled by the central government, generated a profit of 119.49 billion yuan ($17.57 billion) through January-March, down 41.8 percent year on year. The decline was 11.1 percentage points slower than the January-February figure, according to the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC).

The profit for March alone was 62.29 billion yuan, a sharp rise of 85.7 percent from February.

Analysts said the 4-trillion-yuan stimulus package, a large share of which went to the central SOEs, contributed to their month-on-month profit surge.

Sales revenue in the first quarter fell 9.1 percent from the same period a year ago to 2.36 trillion yuan. The data for March was 935.54 billion yuan, up 26.8 percent from a month earlier.

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SASAC Director Li Rongrong said last Sunday at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2009 that it was more important for major enterprises to focus on tackling the economic slowdown, as they played an important role in the national economy and also shouldered great responsibility.

He urged enterprises to ensure enough cash liquidity amid the financial crisis.

The 2008 profits of the central SOEs recorded the first annual decline since 2002, falling more than 30 percent year on year to 665.29 billion yuan.

Three heavyweights, including the China National Petroleum Corporation, China Mobile, and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, each reaped profits over 100 billion yuan.

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