China Telecom has booked total operating revenue of CNY285.0 billion (USD40.9 billion) for the first three quarters of 2018 – an increase of 3.6% year-on-year – driven by a 6.0% increase in service revenue to CNY264.9 billion. A roughly CNY10 billion increase in operating expenses led to a 4.8% decrease in operating profit, but this was offset by a decrease in financing costs (down 18.4% y-o-y to CNY2.1 billion) and additional earnings of CNY1.9 billion (up 171.6% from 9M 2017) attributed primarily to its share of profits from joint venture infrastructure firm China Tower. Consequently, the operator registered a 2.7% increase in net profit for the nine-month period to CNY19.1 billion.
Telecom counted a total of 294.03 million wireless subscribers at end-September 2018, of which 230.45 million were 4G users – compared to 240.56 million and 167.52 million respectively a year earlier. In the fixed segment, the operator reported a broadband customer base of 143.84 million, including 138.62 million fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) users, up from a 131.31 million and 121.8 million in September 2017. Fixed voice subscriptions continued to decline, meanwhile, falling to 118.27 million from 123.30 million.