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Listed firms see narrowing profits


11:01, April 23, 2012

China's listed companies saw narrowing profits in the first quarter as the country's economy ran at the slowest pace since the third quarter of 2009, reports released by those companies showed.

As of Sunday, altogether 713 companies had disclosed their quarterly results, of which 385 posted year-on-year gains, 328 reported profit declines and 118 registered losses, according to information disclosure from the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges.

Of the 566 companies that had unveiled performance forecast for the January-March period, 222 predicted positive growth, 27 expected a swing to the gains while 150 said profits would decline, 149 forecast a turn to losses.

The general downward trend in their profitability came as China's economy expanded 8.1 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2012, marking the fifth consecutive quarter of decline.

Revenue up, profits down

A major feature that characterized listed companies's first-quarter performance was the contrast between rising revenues and dwindling profits.

Statistics showed gross revenue of the 713 companies grew at an average rate of 10.21 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, but net profits dropped 8.99 percent during the period.

Taking Deluxe Family, a real estate developer in Shanghai, as an example. It reported a stunning revenue growth of 51,377.45 percent in the first quarter, but net profits logged a 89.07-percent slump.

According to the companies' statements, rising prices of raw materials and increasing operation costs were the main drags on their profitability, added by a combination of hikes of management fees and losses arising from investments.

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