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Chinese SOEs report 11-pct decline in profits

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BEIJING, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Profit growth for Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) slowed during the first two months of 2012, the Ministry of Finance said Monday.

The SOEs' profits fell 10.9 percent year-on-year to reach 363.5 billion yuan (57.7 billion U.S. dollars) during the first two months, the ministry said in a statement posted on its website.

The profits of centrally-administered SOEs fell 11.5 percent year-on-year to 211.97 billion yuan, while those under local governments saw their profits down 10 percent to 51.53 billion yuan, according to the statement.

The companies' revenues grew 9.9 percent to 7.5 trillion yuan during the same period.

The SOEs turned in taxes of 736.55 billion yuan, up 16 percent from one year earlier.

The SOEs' net sales margin ratio stood at 3.5 percent during the first two months, down one percentage point from a year ago, while the rate of return on equity reached 1.1 percent, down 0.3 percentage points over the previous year, the ministry said.

The tobacco and telecommunications sectors reported big year-on-year gains in profits for the first two months, while the steel, machinery and petrochemical industries saw significant profit declines.

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