BEIJING, Sept. 1 -- Profit growth of China's listed companies dropped from a year ago in the first half of this year as economic slowdown continues to weigh on business performance.
A total of 2,558 firms listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges raked combined net profits of 1.27 trillion yuan (205.9 billion U.S. dollars) in the Jan.-June period, up 9.47 percent year on year, the Shanghai Securities News reported on Monday.
The growth rate, although better than the first quarter, was still outpaced by that of the same period in 2013, when listed companies saw profits increase over 11 percent due to a low base in the previous year.
The year-on-year profit growth dipped to 6.46 percent if financial sector companies and two of China's oil giants, China National Petroleum Corp. and China Petrochemical Corporation, are excluded.
Combined revenues of listed firms amounted to 13.7 trillion yuan, up 5.83 percent from the same period last year.
China's economy expanded 7.4 percent year on year in the first half with a strong second quarter, but downward pressure still looms large for the world's second-largest economy, which also cast a shadow over business performance.
Around 14.27 percent of listed firms posted losses in the first six months, rising from 13.45 percent a year ago. Of all the companies that reported profits, 1,285 earned more than last year.
Profits in the construction materials and telecommunication sectors saw the largest year-on-year increase of 40 percent among 28 industries, while iron, steel and non-ferrous metals remained gloomy with a more than 40-percent decrease.
The property sector fell 6 percent as the once heated market has begun to chill, data from Shenyin & Wanguo Securities showed.