China Mobile net grows 3.9% on strong data growth

Fiona Chau
17 Mar 2011

China Mobile's net profit rose 3.9% last year thanks to the rapid growth of its mobile internet and data services.

The world’s largest mobile operator by subscribers and market cap on Wednesday announced a net profit of 119.6 billion yuan ($18.2 billion) for calendar 2010, up from 115 billion yuan a year earlier.

Full year operating revenue reached 485.2 billion, up 7.3%. Revenue from mobile internet access jumped 49.4% year-on-year to 30.53 billion yuan, and was the major driver for value added revenue growth, China Mobile said in a statement.

China Mobile added 61.73 million new subscribers last year, bringing its total subscriber base to 584 million – of which 20.7 million were 3G subscribers.

APRU declined to 73 yuan from 77 yuan a year earlier, as many of the additions were rural or migrant users.

“Overall, APRU would continue to decline, but we expect a slowdown in the decline because of the increasing penetration of smartphones,” China Mobile CEO Li Yue told a press briefing.

Li said China Mobile now has about 43% share in the China 3G market and aims to add over 25 million new 3G subscribers this year, more than doubling its 3G user base to 45 million by year-end.

That said, China Mobile plans to increase its spending on subsidizing handsets to as much as 17.5 billion yuan this year. The company spent 15.2 billion yuan on handset subsidies last year, with 80% going towards 3G handsets.

China Mobile will also raise its capital expenditure for 2011 to 132.4 billion yuan ($20.1 billion), compared to 124.3 billion yuan last year. These funds will go towards expanding its 3G network capacity and WLAN build-out, as it pursues data traffic business.

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