BEIJING, Dec. 26 -- Profits of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), which are supervised by provincial state assets watchdogs in China, dropped 12.3 percent in past 11 months, said an official with the State Council on Thursday.
"It's difficult to maintain growth as the outside environment was not good," said Li Rongrong, director of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) under the State Council, adding the situation next year would be "grim".
Figures with the SASAC showed profits of provincial SOEs and enterprises mainly controlled by these SOEs were 274.4 billion yuan (about 39.2 billion U.S. dollars) from Jan. to Nov., while sales revenue grew 22.9 percent to 5.8 trillion yuan.
Profits of SOEs directly under the central government's supervision dropped sharply by 26 percent to 683 billion yuan in the same period, with a sales revenue of 10.8 trillion yuan, up 20.2 percent from a year earlier.
The tax revenue from both provincial and centrally administered SOEs stood at 1.27 trillion yuan, up about 20 percent.
Li said SOEs should "build a strong body" by "improving their inner ability", which means improving management over production.
He also urged management of these SOEs to give priority to employment stability and refrain from cutting payrolls, saying SOEs should shoulder more responsibilities in the face of the international financial crisis.
According to SASAC figures, there were 1,043 provincial SOEs by the end of Nov. this year.