Profits at China’s state-owned enterprises declined by 43.7% year-on-year in the first two months of 2009 to a combined US$17.8 billion, the South China Morning Post reported, citing Ministry of Finance figures. This compares to a 25.2% decline for the whole of 2008. The deepening financial crisis brought revenues at state-owned companies for January and February down by 8.1% year-on-year to US$395.1 billion. The ministry said it was the first decline in “many years.” State companies controlled by the central government saw profits decline by 33.3% year-on-year to US$15.5 billion in the first two months of the year. Earnings at companies controlled by provincial governments declined by 72.5% to US$2.3 billion in the same time period. The coal industry was the only industry to record profit growth, though at a slower pace, the ministry said.