BEIJING, May 27 (Xinhua) -- Profits of China's major industrial firms saw steady growth of 15 percent for the January-April period, data showed Sunday.
The growth was bigger than the 11.6-percent increase registered for the first quarter, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
In the first four months, combined profits at industrial companies each with annual revenue of more than 20 million yuan (about 3.2 million U.S. dollars) amounted to 2.13 trillion yuan, the NBS said.
In April alone, combined profits totaled 576 billion yuan, up 21.9 percent from one year earlier, and 18.8 percentage points higher than March.
NBS statistician He Ping attributed the fast profit growth to accelerated production and sales as well as rising prices of industrial products.
Among the 41 industries surveyed, 29 posted year-on-year profit growth during the period. Industries including steel, chemicals and automobiles contributed the most to the profit growth.
He Ping said Sunday's data revealed the gradual effects of supply-side structural reform, and the improving operation quality and profitability at industrial enterprises.
The companies' debt-to-asset ratio dipped 0.7 percentage points from one year earlier to 56.5 percent by the end of April, while that of state-owned enterprises stood at 59.5 percent, down 1.5 percent year on year.
He said deleveraging achieved even more notable results at state-owned enterprises.