Weaker oil prices and strong domestic fuel demand helped China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, better known as Sinopec, deliver a forecast-beating 30% increase in 2006 net profits to US$7 billion. Asia's biggest refiner beat an estimate of its net profits by US$390 million and exceeded net profits in 2005 by nearly US$1 billion, AP reported. State subsidies worth US$646.8 million also helped boost earnings. The company said it expects to report a more than 50% jump in net profits for the first quarter of 2007 thanks to expanded operating capacity. No figure was given.