A sign of China Mobile is seen at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) Asia 2016 in Shanghai, China, May 12, 2016. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

By Yimou Lee

HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s largest telecom service provider, China Mobile Ltd, said its first-half net profit edged up 5.6%, its first interim profit rise in three years, as growth from lucrative 4G services helped it fend off stiff competition.

Beijing-based China Mobile said on Thursday net profit for the half rose to 60.6 billion yuan ($9.13 billion) from 57.3 billion yuan a year earlier. Revenue grew 7.1% to 370.4 billion yuan.

A sign of China Mobile is seen at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) Asia 2016 in Shanghai, China, May 12, 2016. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

“China Mobile has focused its promotional efforts towards 4G upgrades and this campaign has successfully attracted a significant number of 2G/3G customers,” Chairman Shang Bing said in the filing.

China Mobile’s customers of the more lucrative 4G services more than doubled in the first half to 429 million from a year earlier, according to Reuters’ calculations based on data provided by the company.

Like smaller peers China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd and China Telecom Corp Ltd, China Mobile has faced a squeeze in recent years from internet-based messaging services like Tencent Holdings Ltd’s WeChat, which ate into carriers’ revenue from voice calls and short messages.

But analysts have said China Mobile enjoys first-mover advantage in money-spinning and fast-growing 4G services offering much faster data transmission speeds.

China’s 4G penetration ratio grew to 45% in June from 32% in December, Nomura analyst Leping Huang wrote in a research note before the earnings were published.

(Reporting by Yimou Lee; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world's first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now. 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *