The total output of major companies in China\'s light industry hit 18 trillion yuan (2.9 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2012, showing improved overall competitiveness, official data revealed Friday. The profits of major companies in the light industry in 2012 climbed 19.58 percent from a year earlier, 14.28 percentage points higher than the national industrial profit rise, according to a report released by the China National Light Industry Council (CNLIC) and China National Light Industry Information Center (CNLIIC). The total export volume of major products in the light industry hit 507.51 billion U.S. dollars in 2012, accounting for 24.8 percent of the total national export volume, the report showed. The accumulated trade surplus of major export products in the light industry stood at 388.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2012, 157.7 billion U.S. dollars above the national trade surplus volume. Bu Zhengfa, president of CNLIC, attributed the steady growth to the effectiveness of industrial upgrading, but warned that the sector still faces challenges such as high financing costs and limited space for market development. The CNLIC also released a list of China\'s 100 most profitable companies in the light industry in 2012, with the top ten mainly in the sectors of home appliances, beverages, brewing and paper production.