China's industrial firms posted a 3.4-percent slump in profits in the January-April period, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday.
Profits notched up by industrial firms in the country shrank 3.7 percent year-on-year in April to 515.4 billion yuan (74.80 billion U.S. dollars) following robust gains in March.
Zhu Hong, a senior statistician from NBS, ascribed the comparatively large fluctuation to the reduction of value-added tax that began in April, which brought forward pent-up demand for some industrial goods and boosted profits in March.
Industrial companies' debt increased 5.5 percent from a year earlier to 63.87 trillion yuan by end-April.
Chinese authorities have pledged to stick with supply-side structural reform and a slew of tax cuts in response to downward pressure on the economy.
The data covers large companies with annual revenues of more than 20 million yuan from their main operations.