A staff worker works at the assembly line at the factory of Anqing branch of Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Corp., Ltd. in Anqing City, east China's Anhui Province, Oct. 30, 2017. (Xinhua file photo/Jiang Sheng)
China's major industrial firms saw stronger profit growth in the first 10 months of this year as progress is being made in the country's supply-side structural reform.
Industrial companies with annual revenue of more than 20 million yuan (about 3.03 million U.S. dollars) reported profits of 6.245 trillion yuan in the first 10 months, a 23.3-percent increase from one year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Monday in a statement.
The growth marks a pick up from 22.8 percent in the first three quarters. In October alone, profits of major industrial firms rose 25.1 percent year on year.
Among the 41 industries surveyed, 38 posted year-on-year profit growth during the first 10 months.
High-tech manufacturing and strategic emerging industrial enterprises reported faster growth during the ten-month period. The high-end equipment manufacturing and new material sectors saw profits up 29.3 percent and 29 percent, respectively, said the NBS.
Meanwhile, industries like coal, steel, chemicals and petroleum also recorded strong performance.
In the Jan-Oct period, combined new profit in the sectors of coal mining and washing, ferrous metal smelting and rolling, chemical raw materials and chemical products manufacturing, as well as oil and natural gas exploitation accounted for 51.2 percent of the total profit increase.
"While industrial profits maintained a relatively fast growth, improvements were made in enterprise efficiency and profitability," NBS statistician He Ping said.
In the first 10 months, costs per 100 yuan of revenue dropped 0.26 yuan from the same period last year, while expenses per 100 yuan of revenue went down 0.25 yuan, according to He.
He mentioned that the leverage ratio at Chinese industrial enterprises, a measure of financial risks, also went down amid the government's ongoing deleveraging efforts. By the end of October, their debt-asset ratio dropped 0.5 percentage points from a year ago to 55.7 percent.
At state-owned industrial enterprises, the debt-asset ratio dropped 0.5 percentage points from October last year to 60.9 percent.
The industrial sector, which accounts for about one-third of China's GDP, started to pick up last year amid nationwide supply-side structural reform efforts, which include measures to trim excessive production capacity, reduce inventory, cut cost, deleveraging, and addresses weak points.
Industrial value-added output expanded 6.7 percent year on year in the January-October period, according to the NBS.
Coal, steel-related companies have largely benefited from deeper supply-side structural reform, which targets at reduction of outdated capacity and production costs.
China plans to eliminate 100 million to 150 million tonnes of crude steel capacity and 500 million tonnes of coal in the five years from 2016. The NBS said earlier this month, noting the country had completed its 2017 tasks for capacity cuts in both sectors.
The strong profit growth also came amid government tighter enforcement of environmental rules during the winter heating season smog, polluted water and contaminated soil.
The country's GDP expanded 6.9 percent year on year in the first three quarters.