China's Sinopec says H1 net profit up 24%

Chinese oil giant Sinopec said Sunday its net profit for the first half of 2013 grew 24 percent, thanks to improved refining margins after Beijing introduced reforms to fuel pricing.

It said net profit for January-June was 30.28 billion yuan ($4.95 billion), compared to 24.50 billion yuan in the same period last year.

Revenue rose 5 percent to 1.42 trillion yuan, it said in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

"In the second half of the year, we expect balanced supply and demand fundamentals in the global oil market and a steady growth in domestic demand for refined oil products and chemicals," chairman Fu Chengyu said in a statement.

"The Chinese government will accelerate structural adjustments and upgrades to maintain stable economic growth," he added.

Sinopec's refining business swung into the black in the first half, recording an operating profit of 213 million yuan. In the same period of last year, it recorded a loss of 18.5 billion.

China in March introduced fuel pricing mechanisms more in line with international market standards, giving more room for oil companies to set prices closer to market rates.

Sinopec's rival PetroChina said on Thursday its first-half net profit increased 5.6 percent, also citing a boost from policy reforms which helped narrow losses for its refining and chemical businesses.

Another oil giant CNOOC said on Tuesday that its first-half net profit rose 7.9 percent year-on-year, with the company citing an improving outlook for the world's major economies.