March 21, 2017 / 2:03 PM / 3 years ago

China's Huaneng Power posts first profit fall in 5 years

SINGAPORE, March 21 (Reuters) - Huaneng Power , the listed business of China’s biggest power generator, saw its 2016 net profit fall by a third, logging the first decline in five years as a tepid Chinese economy kept electricity usage weak.

Huaneng Power International Inc’s net profit last year fell 36 percent to 8.81 billion yuan ($1.28 billion), it said in a filing to the Shanghai stock exchange. The last time Huaneng reported an annual net profit decline was in 2011, according to company data on Thomson Reuters Eikon.

“Power demand in China will likely see slower growth in 2017. The overall oversupply situation will persist and will be more obvious in certain regions,” Huaneng, a unit of Huaneng Group, said on Tuesday.

China, the world’s top power market, generated 5.91 trillion kWh of electricity in 2016, up 4.5 percent on 2015, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

China’s power firms have been weighed down by the slowing Chinese economy, the second largest in the world, with power usage expected to rise by about 3 percent in 2017, Huaneng quoted industry figures as saying.

Last week, another Chinese power firm Datang International Power Generation Co Ltd said it swung to red with a net loss of 2.6 billion yuan in 2016.

Huaneng’s results came after the Chinese and Hong Kong markets closed on Tuesday. Huaneng’s Shanghai shares ended 2.1 percent higher, outperforming the benchmark Shanghai index . Its Hong Kong stock closed flat, lagging the main Hang Seng index. ($1 = 6.8830 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Lee Chyen Yee in Singapore and Meg Shen in Hong Kong; Editing by Keith Weir)

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