Viettel boosts 2011 pre-tax profit 23%

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net
Vietnamese state-owned operator Viettel earned a pre-tax profit of 20 trillion dong ($960 million) in 2011, up 23% from a year earlier, its deputy general director has disclosed.
 
Viet Nam News cites Nguyen Manh Hung as reporting an annual turnover for the operator of 117 trillion dong, up 28% on 2010.
 
Viettel ended the year with over 61.2 million mobile customers, including 3.25 million on postpaid, and around 229,000 fixed-line subscribers.
 
Revenue from Viettel's overseas investments in Laos, Cambodia, Mozambique, Haiti and Peru more than doubled to 10 trillion dong.
 
The operator has announced plans to invest in three or four more international markets with a combined addressable base of around 100 million people.
 
Viettel is on the path to merging with fellow state-owned operator EVN Telecom, under a government plan to deal with debt-laden EVN.
 
In December, the government agreed to the proposal to start transferring assets and liabilities to Viettel from current parent Electricity of Vietnam, and local reports indicate that the transfer commenced earlier this month.
 
But private player Hanoi Telecom has been opposing the merger, arguing that it will leave Viettel with more than half of Vietnam's 3G spectrum, in violation of competition laws.

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