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Mumbai: Net profit growth of listed private sector manufacturing companies improved significantly in the third quarter of this fiscal, while there was a contraction in the services (other than IT) sector, the RBI said today.

Releasing data on abridged financial results of 2,784 listed private non-financial companies for October-December period of 2016-17, the Reserve Bank said improved profit growth despite rise in expenditure characterised performance of the private corporate business sector during the third quarter.

“Net profit growth improved significantly for the manufacturing sector, which also pulled up net profit growth at the aggregate level, despite a contraction in the services (other than IT) sector,” it said.

The net profit of listed private non-financial companies in the third quarter was Rs. 53,000 crore, up 24.6 per cent year-on-year.

The expansion in net profit was about 16 per cent in the previous two quarters of the current fiscal.

The net profit of manufacturing companies stood at Rs. 33,600 crore, up 57.5 per cent year-on-year.

The data further revealed that aggregate sales growth improved in the third quarter, primarily in the manufacturing sector and led by industries like iron and steel, petroleum products and the information technology (IT) sector.

Sales of services sector constituents (other than IT), however, continued to contract for three successive quarters.

Their sales stood at Rs. 7,75,700 crore in the quarter ending December 2016, posting an annual growth of 2.8 per cent.

Further, at the aggregate level and in the manufacturing sector, raw material expenses increased sharply relative to the previous quarter, while staff costs decelerated across sectors.

Interest expenses grew sharply as compared to the previous quarter at the aggregate level as well as for the manufacturing and the services (other than IT) sectors