China Telecom announced strong results for the first quarter of 2013, as it said it is focusing on its “strategy of three new roles – a leader of intelligent pipeline, a provider of integrated platforms, and a participant in content and application development”.
It said that the intention is to establish “unique and sustainable competitive strengths, so as to create more value for shareholders”.
The company reported a profit of CNY4.7 billion ($762 million), up 10 per cent year-on-year, on revenue of CNY77.82 billion, up 14.6 per cent.
It ended the period with 168.03 million subscribers, of which 78.07 million (46 per cent) are 3G customers. It said that average revenue per user was stable compared with that for 2012.
Revenue from the sale of mobile terminals was CNY9.23 billion, an increase of 63.7 per cent year-on-year. It said that “as a result of the corresponding significant increase in the costs of mobile terminals sold, other operating expenses increased by 41.4 per cent over the same period of last year”.
Operating revenue excluding mobile terminal sales increased by 10 per cent to CNY68.58 billion.
China Telecom acquired its mobile network assets from its parent company at the end of 2012, “leading to significant savings in the mobile network capacity lease fee from this year onwards”. Contrastingly, its depreciation and amortisation charges increased, mainly due to costs associated with the newly-acquired infrastructure.
With challenges from “new internet technology and the intensified mobile subsitiution”, the company’s basic fixed line operation saw its customer base shrink to 161.70 million lines from 163 million at the end of 2012.
The company did manage to grow its fixed broadband unit to 93.18 million subscribers, adding 3.06 million in the quarter.
It noted that “the fundamentals of the overall wireline services continued to remain stable”.