A snapshot of the first-half results announced so far by mainland-listed companies shows that they have emerged strongly from the coronavirus pandemic that swept across the mainland earlier this year, with the healthy performance shoring up confidence in the world’s second-largest economy. Of the 732 mainland-listed companies that had reported their interim earnings as of Monday, 55.7 per cent or 408 companies showed a year on year growth in profit, according to state-owned Shanghai Securities News . Overall, 647 firms posted profits. Companies in sectors such as brokerages, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals reported increased profits, the report added. “Some sectors such as brokerages performed well in the first six months,” said Zhou Ling, a fund manager with Shanghai Shiva Investment. “But those industries hard hit by Covid-19, which have yet to publish earnings, will drag down overall profit growth of the A-share companies.” China’s economy shrank 6.8 per cent in the first quarter of this year – its first contraction since records began in 1992 – as lockdown measures disrupted manufacturing and commercial activity. But the country’s successful containment of the deadly Covid-19 disease put the economy back on track since March, and the gross domestic product expanded 3.2 per cent in the second quarter , which was mainly driven by huge spending on infrastructure. The nearly 4,000 mainland-listed companies are required to report their first-half interim earnings between July 1 and August 31. Generally, companies with poor performance tend to publish their earnings close to the deadline. Analysts said the profit growth posted by these 700-odd firms could help propel the Shanghai Composite Index further. The benchmark has advanced 13 per cent so far this year, with some saying that the market has further to go amid the strong economic recovery and earnings growth following China’s success in containing the coronavirus outbreak. Shenzhen’s 5G coverage boosts Chinese telecom equipment stocks Brokerages reported some of the biggest jump in profits as a result of the swelling trading volume. China’s nearly 150 million individual investors , the world’s largest such group, is critical to the nation’s equity markets, contributing to more than 70 per cent of the transactions. Citic Securities, the mainland’s largest brokerage, posted a 38.5 per cent jump in profit to 8.9 billion yuan (US$1.28 billion) from January to June from a year earlier. Everbright Securities made a profit of 2.15 billion yuan, an increase of 33.7 per cent from a year ago. Hengli Petrochemical, a manufacturer of chemical fibres, reported earnings of 5.5 billion yuan, up 37.2 per cent on year. Hunan New Wellful, a pigs breeder and feed processing firm, posted the highest increase in profitability among the 730 firms that have released their earnings so far. It said in a preliminary earnings statement that profit rocketed by 3,300 per cent year on year to 240 million yuan. China Wafer Level CSP, which makes image sensor chips, was another stellar performer. The company’s profit surged 624 per cent profit year on year to 156 million yuan buoyed by soaring demand for its products that are used in mobile phones and security cameras. Beijing calls for faster virus support for China’s grass-roots businesses Some underperforming A-share firms in the industries severely affected by the Covid-19 could report lacklustre earnings as the earnings deadline nears. Travel related firms such as Huangshan Tourism Development were among the worst affected by the coronavirus in the first quarter and their performance is unlikely to see any improvement in the first six months. The operator of scenic spots at Yellow Mountain in Anhui province reported a net loss of 77.2 million yuan during the first quarter, compared to a profit of 23.6 million yuan a year earlier.