Chinese conglomerate CITIC Pacific said its net profit for the first half fell 43% year-on-year to US$318.7 million, the Wall Street Journal reported. The decline in earnings was largely attributable to declining steel business, which fell 72% to US$67.6 million due to weakened demand amidst the financial crisis. Revenues fell by 32% year-on-year to US$2.3 billion. The firm’s chairman Chang Zhenming said that the company’s fundamentals remained strong and that it would explore “potential opportunities and synergies” with its parent CITIC Group. Meanwhile the company will sell non-core assets it does not control as well as assets deemed insignificant. CITIC Pacific last week sold its 14.5% stake in Cathay Pacific Airways to Air China and Swire Pacific for US$941.8 million.