Chinese industrial businesses reported improving profitability in March, propelling profits for the whole first quarter onto a faster track. Profits of industrial companies with annual business revenue of more than 20 million yuan (3.25 million U.S. dollars) reached 1.3 trillion yuan from January to March, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a statement on Sunday. Their profits rose by 10.1 percent in the first quarter, compared with a 9.4-percent increase recorded in the first two months. The acceleration was fueled by an improving performance of firms in March, when they raked in 513.2 billion yuan in profits, up 10.7 percent year on year. The NBS attributed the improvement last month to the rebounded profitability in the telecommunication sector, whose profits surged by 63.4 percent from a 14.1-percent decline in the first two months. The weak base due to sluggish performance of industrial enterprises in March 2013 was another major contributor to the improvement, according to the NBS. In the first quarter, profits of private firms rose the fastest at 14.2 percent to reach 419.1 billion yuan. State-owned and state-holding industrial enterprises achieved total profits of 354.8 billion yuan, up 2.9 percent year on year. Combined profits of foreign-funded enterprises and companies funded from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan stood at 301.1 billion yuan in the first quarter, up 12.5 percent from the same period last year. Joint-stock enterprises attained total profits of 755 billion yuan, posting an increase of 9.1 percent year on year. By sector, industrial enterprises in the mining industry achieved profits of 168.5 billion yuan in the first three months, tumbling by 15.1 percent. Companies in the manufacturing sector enjoyed a 13.9-percent rise to stand at one trillion yuan in the period. Notably, the majority of industrial profits in the first quarter were made in just a few sectors, such as auto manufacturing, power and heat generation, electrical machinery production and telecommunication equipment production. Producers of coal, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, oil and natural gas, reported steep profit declines in the first quarter due to falling prices resulting from sluggish demand, said the NBS.