A worker stands near a stainless steel product line at a factory in Dalian, Liaoning Province, China, February 29, 2016. Photo: Reuters/China Daily

From January through July, Chinese industrial firms with annual revenue over US$3 million reported total profits above 4.2 trillion yuan, up 21.2% from the same period last year, acording to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

The improvement comes despite a slight slowdown in July, with profits rising 16.5% year on year, versus the 19.1% in June.

Profit at state-owned insdustrial companies grew at 34.2% in July year over year, far outperforming the overal growth of the sector, Caixin reports.

He Ping of the National Bureau of Statistics said the slowdown in July was seasonal, due to higher temperatures, but performance continues to improve thanks to supply-side structural reforms.