China Mobile reports 14% drop in profit for first nine months of 2019

22 Oct 2019

China Mobile has reported almost stable operating revenues for the first nine months of 2019 at CNY566.7 billion (USD80.1 billion), though there was a 1% year-on-year fall in revenues from telecoms services to CNY513.0 billion. EBITDA climbed 5.3% to CNY225.5 billion, but net profit attributable to shareholders dropped 13.9% to CNY81.8 billion. The fall was attributed to ‘the year-on-year decrease in revenue, spending on business transformation and rising rigid expenditures’.

In operational terms, the group claimed 942 million mobile customers at the end of September 2019, up from 935 million three months earlier. This included 747 million 4G subscribers. Monthly ARPU dropped from CNY52.2 at mid-2019 to CNY50.2 at end-September, and while average voice minutes per month were almost static at 290, average data usage per handset rose from 6.2GB per month as of June 2019 to 6.6GB three months later. In the fixed broadband segment, China Mobile claimed 185 million customers at the end of September, a net increase of ten million in three months.