21 Oct 2009 14:09

China Mobile, China Telecom to report lackluster results in Q3

Shanghai. October 21. INTERFAX-CHINA - China Mobile and China Telecom will report lackluster performance results for the first three quarters of 2009, according to financial figures released on Oct. 20.

China Mobile's net profit grew slowly in the first three quarters of the year, by only 1.8 percent year-on-year, exhibiting the operator's poorest growth since 1997. Total revenues reached RMB 326.98 billion ($47.86 billion) within the period, up 8.9 percent from the same period in 2008.

China Telecom, China Mobile's biggest competitor, reported even worse figures for the first three quarters of the year, with net profit dropping 33.9 percent year-on-year. Total revenues increased by 15.3 percent year-on-year to hit RMB 154.75 billion ($22.65 billion) within the same period.

From January to September, China Mobile added 51.12 million new mobile service subscribers, though a large proportion of these are less active users, which as a result pulled down China Mobile's average revenue per user (ARPU).

China Telecom added 18.87 million CDMA mobile service subscribers in the first three quarters of the year, although the operator also saw ARPU decline slightly within the period.

Both operators are performing below market expectations, according to previous analyst forecasts.

A senior employee with China Mobile, who wished to remain anonymous, previously told Interfax that the weak performances of the three telecom operators were not expected to improve over the remainder of the year, mainly due to rising competition and increased operational costs resulting from the 3G network roll out and related service promotions.

China Unicom is scheduled to announce its third-quarter financial figures on Oct. 30. The company added 9.5 million GSM mobile phone users within the three-quarter period.

China Mobile and China Telecom stock traded for HKD 77.25 ($9.05) and HKD 3.73 ($0.44) at closing today, down 2.36 percent and 1.9 percent respectively.