Chinese conglomerate Citic reported a precipitous drop in first half profits, amid a sharp slide in earnings from its financial services unit and sluggish performances by its other businesses which span activities from property to mining.

Net income at China’s self-described “largest conglomerate operating domestically and overseas” fell to HK$20.2bn from HK$37.7bn a year earlier, with earnings per share dropping by more than half to HK$0.69.

The greatest loss came in financial services, where net profit fell by more than a third to HK$21.9bn. Even excluding the sale in 2015 of an interest in subsidiary Citic Securities, the unit’s profit was still down 7 per cent.

Banking unit Citic Bank reported only a marginal rise in profit despite 12 per cent revenue growth, due to increased provisions for non-performing loans. Citic also made tax payments on the restructuring of its property business and suffered due to the depreciation of the renminbi, which hurt profits when translated to the (US dollar-pegged) Hong Kong dollar.

Sino Iron, a costly foray into Western Australia’s metals mining industry, has still yet to reach full capacity, and the company noted that “these remain testing times for Sino Iron and the sector in general”.

Citic kept its interim dividend at HK$0.10, the same as in 2015.

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