Workers talk near a tunnel boring machine at Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Ltd on Oct 15, 2020. (FANG ZHE / XINHUA)

BEIJING – Profits of China's major industrial firms declined 3 percent year-on-year in the first 10 months of the year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Sunday.

Industrial firms with annual main business revenue of at least 20 million yuan (about $2.8 million dollars) each saw their combined profits reach about 6.98 trillion yuan in the period, the NBS said.

The combined revenues of these firms sustained growth during the period, rising 7.6 percent year-on-year to 111.78 trillion yuan.

A total of 19 out of 41 major industries saw growth in profits in the January-October period, the NBS said. The oil and gas exploitation sector saw profits jump 1.1 times from the same period last year, while the coal mining and washing industry reported a 62-percent hike in profits.

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Senior NBS statistician Zhu Hong noted that despite the overall profit decline, the business profit structure of industrial firms continues to improve, with some firms in the midstream and downstream of the industry chain posting an evident uptick in profit margins.