China Telecom has reported a 7.4% growth in net profit for the six months ending in June, even amid an intensifying competitive environment.
Net profit for the half-year period reached 12.54 billion yuan ($1.88 billion), on the back of a 4.1% year-on-year increase in revenue to 184.12 billion yuan.
Service revenues grew 6.8% over the same period – surpassing the industry average growth rate - to 165.85 billion yuan. Mobile revenues were up 12.2% to 75.7 billion yuan as the company completed the deployment of its full coverage 4G network incorporating its refarmed 800-MHz spectrum.
China Telecom's total mobile subscriber base grew by 14.85 million during the six month period to reach 230 million, with 4G handset users up 30.15 million to 152 million.
On the fixed line side, China Telecom's fiber coverage reached 92% as its FTTH subscriber base increased by 11.24 million to 117 million.
During the period China Telecom also made progress with its planned Transformation 3.0 strategy, which is focused on “network intelligentization, service ecologicalization and operation intellectualization.” The company plans to continue with this strategy in the coming quarters.
Despite the results, China Telecom's board has elected not to pay an interim shareholder dividend for the period citing its capital requirements for future development.