China energy giants' H1 profits fall on low prices

FRENCH PRESS AGENCY - AFP
SHANGHAI
Published

Two of China's biggest energy companies, Sinopec and CNOOC, saw their first half net profits slump as low international oil prices and a weak global economy hit the bottom line, they said. Refiner Sinopec's net profit for the first six months slumped 22.3 percent to 24.43 billion yuan ($3.81 billion), it said late Wednesday in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange, which is where it is listed. "In the first half of 2015, the global economic recovery remained slow," Sinopec chairman Wang Yupu said in the statement. "International crude oil prices plunged in the second half of last year and fluctuated at low level in the first half." Oil prices hit their lowest levels since early 2009 this week over concerns that China's slowing economy will curb demand for the commodities that have helped drive its growth over the past three decades. Sinopec said domestic demand for crude oil and natural gas also slowed in the first half. China's economy grew 7 percent in each of the first two quarters, slowing from a 7.4 percent expansion last year, which was its weakest since 1990. Separately, China's main offshore oil and gas producer, CNOOC, reported a 56.1 percent year-on-year plunge in net profit to 14.73 billion yuan in the first half, the company said in a statement. Its revenue also fell sharply by 35.5 percent year-on-year to 89.59 billion yuan in the first half.

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