China Telecom says first-half profit up 0.8 percent on growing Internet, mobile businesses

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

China Telecom first-half profit up 0.8 percent

BEIJING — China Telecom Ltd., the country’s biggest fixed-line carrier, said Wednesday its first-half profit rose 0.8 percent as its Internet and mobile businesses grew but demand for traditional service weakened further.

Profit for the six months ending June 30 was 9.08 billion yuan ($1.3 billion), or 0.11 yuan (1.6 U.S. cents) per share, up from 9 billion yuan a year earlier, the Beijing-based company said.

China Telecom’s traditional fixed-line business has eroded as customers opt for mobile service. It is promoting Internet access and other services and acquired a mobile business as part of a government-directed 2008 industry restructuring to boost competition and industry development.

China Telecom hopes to take advantage of new opportunities as the government promotes the convergence of the Internet, mobile phones and television, chairman Wang Xiaochu said in a statement.

“We will focus on fulfilling our customers’ needs and accelerating the promotion of broadband access and mobile services, particularly in the 3G development,” Wang said.

The company plans to promote integration of mobile, broadband, fixed-line and information services, Wang said.

China Telecom’s number of fixed-line accounts fell 4 percent from the end of 2009 to 181 million as of June 30, the company said.

Broadband subscribers rose 9.1 percent to 58.3 million while the number of mobile accounts rose 32.9 percent to 74.5 million. The number of subscribers for third-generation mobile service jumped 76.4 percent to 7.2 million.

Rival China Mobile Ltd., the world’s biggest phone carrier by subscribers, said earlier its profit growth slowed to 4.2 percent amid growing competition.

China Telecom Ltd.:

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