China state firms' profits down 9.5 percent year-on-year in January-November

BEIJING (Reuters) - Profits at China’s state firms dipped 9.5 percent in the first 11 months of 2015 from a year earlier, after a 9.8 percent drop in the first 10 months, the Ministry of Finance said on Friday.

Combined profits of state-owned enterprises totaled 2.04 trillion yuan ($315.18 billion) in the January-November period, the ministry said in a statement on its website.

“The downward pressure on economic operations remains relatively big, although there are signs of warming up in some indicators,” the ministry said.

Excluding financial firms, combined revenues of state-owned firms fell 6.1 percent in the first 11 months from a year earlier to 40.66 trillion yuan, the ministry said.

Companies in transportation, chemical and power sectors reported a rise in profit in the January-November period, while firms in oil, petrochemicals and building materials saw a drop in earnings.

Firms in steel, coal and non-ferrous metal sectors continued to suffer losses.

The government has been struggling to reach its economic growth target of around 7 percent this year, which would be the weakest pace in a quarter of a century.

Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Nick Macfie