* Jan-Oct profits +0.5 pct y/y vs Jan-Sept -1.8 pct y/y
* Oct profits +20.5 pct y/y vs +7.8 pct y/y in Sep
* Power, food processing and IT sectors shine
* Petroleum refiners, coking and nuclear processors swing into loss
BEIJING, Nov 27 Profits earned by industrial companies leaped 20.5 percent in October over the previous year to 500 billion yuan, accelerating from September's 7.8 percent year-on-year increase, China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Tuesday.
It said China's industrial enterprises made 4 trillion yuan ($647 billion) in profits in the first 10 months of 2012, with earnings at power generation, technology and food processing companies seeing double digit rises in October - putting them firmly back on the path of profit growth, following a 1.8 percent fall in profits in the first nine months of 2012 versus 2011.
The data on the NBS website, www.stats.gov.cn, is the latest sign of a gathering rebound in activity in the world's second biggest economy after seven successive quarters of slowing growth, that has left China on course for its weakest year of expansion since 1999.
Profits in power and heating supply firms led the way higher, surging 57.5 percent in the first 10 months of the year versus the same period in 2011. Food processing firms saw the next strongest growth at 16.1 percent, followed by firms in the computing and telecommunications sector, which saw profits grow 10 percent, the NBS said.
On the downside, profits of ferrous metal miners slumped 60.3 percent on the year, while those in chemical industries fell 14.3 percent.
Petroleum refiners, coking and nuclear fuel processors swung into loss in the first 10 months, compared with gains in the same period of 2011, the NBS added.
The Chinese economy is expected to gather momentum in the fourth quarter after an uptick in key economic activity indicators in October, following encouraging signs in September, thanks to new pro-growth policies rolled out by the government over recent months.
The HSBC flash purchasing managers index, the earliest indicator of China's industrial activity, saw expansion accelerate in November for the first time in 13 months when the index was published last week.