China's major industrial firms reported 2.4066 trillion yuan (353.9 billion U.S. dollars) in profits in the first 11 months of this year, up 4.9 percent from the same period last year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)said on Friday.
The growth was 31.8 percentage points lower than the same period of last year, or down 14.5 percentage points from the first eight months of this year.
Major industrial enterprises are defined as those with more than 5 million yuan in annual revenues from their main business.
Among them, the NBS said, state-owned industrial companies had combined profits down 14.5 percent to 798.5 billion yuan.
Oil and natural gas mining sector saw an increase of 37.2 percent in profits, while the coal sector reported a jump of 133.7 percent, followed by the building material sector with a growth of 27.7 percent in profits.
The power sector's profits fell 84.1 percent year-on-year, followed by chemical fiber sector with a drop of 74.9 percent, and non-ferrous metal and processing industry, which reported a drop of 34.1 percent in profits. The iron and steel sector recorded a decrease of 13.7 percent.
The oil refineries and coking plants reported a net loss of 126 billion yuan, as against a profit of 24.5 billion yuan in the same period of last year.
The NBS also said profits for privately-owned industrial firms were up 36.6 percent to 549.5 billion yuan, and foreign-funded companies down 3.1 percent to 637.4 billion yuan.
Cao Jianhai, research fellow with the Institute of Industrial Economy of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, attributed the unsatisfactory profit figures to substantially shrinking demand from abroad and sluggish needs at home.
Reduced demands have resulted in noticeable reduction in industrial sales, he said.
Ebbing profitability would discourage further corporate investment in the coming year, he added.
The Government should enhance support to industrial enterprises through tax cuts and other instruments, so as to lower corporate production costs, stabilize exports and expand domestic demand, Cao suggested.