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Sinopec Reports Profit Decline

April 2, 2002

HONG KONG (AP) _ China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. reported Tuesday its net profit fell 18.1 percent last year, hit by falling oil prices and the worldwide economic slowdown.

The company, also known as Sinopec, earned 16.03 billion yuan ($1.94 billion) in 2001 compared with 19.58 billion yuan in 2000. The latest results were slightly better than analysts’ forecasts.

Revenue slipped 3.9 percent to 318.5 billion yuan ($38.56 billion) from 331.5 billion yuan a year earlier.

Sinopec, a division of state-owned China Petroleum Corp., mainland China’s largest integrated petroleum and petrochemical company, said the decline in oil prices, coupled with slimmer refining margins and an oversupply of refined oil products, made 2001 a tough year.

But cost cutting, expanded markets and greater flexibility helped the company to deliver ``good results,″ Sinopec chairman Li Yizhong said in a statement.

Newly added natural gas and crude reserves helped Sinopec boost crude oil production by 8.8 percent to 269.16 million barrels, while natural gas output more than doubled to 162.8 billion cubic feet.

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