BEIJING, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Most of China's listed companies have reported better performances in 2012 despite the year's relatively tempered economic state, according to the companies' latest reports.
As of 11:00 p.m. Wednesday, 1,698 companies had disclosed their performance forecasts for last year, with nearly 60 percent reporting year-on-year improvements.
The 1,456 companies that have unveiled profit ranges saw their preliminary combined profits amount to 142.4 billion yuan (about 22.7 billion U.S. dollars) during the period, slightly down from the previous year.
But if the 13 companies that reported losses of over 1 billion yuan are not included, the combined profits edged up 4.4 percent year on year to 180.1 billion yuan.
As reflected in the forecast reports, over 70 percent of listed companies experienced a quarter-on-quarter profit lift in the fourth quarter, partly on the back of China's recovering economic strength during the period.
At 7.8 percent last year, China's economy recorded its first annual growth rate below 8 percent since 1999. In the fourth quarter, the growth ended a seven-straight-quarter slowdown to 7.9 percent.
In breakdown, the information services, bio-medical, catering and tourism, public services and food sectors were among the top performers in 2012, while the steel industry stayed at the bottom, with around 70 percent of the industry players forecasting losses or profit declines.
The China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) said in a press release Thursday that its member companies saw profits plummet 98.22 percent to 1.58 billion yuan year on year last year.