China Mobile 2012 profit rises just 2.7 percent

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Associated Press

Posted on March 14, 2013 at 1:07 AM

Updated Thursday, Mar 14 at 1:07 AM

HONG KONG (AP) — State-owned phone carrier China Mobile says profit rose just 2.7 percent last year as it grappled with fierce competition and higher costs.

The Beijing-based phone company said on Thursday that it earned 129.3 billion yuan ($16.7 billion) in 2012. Revenue climbed 6.1 percent to 560.4 billion yuan ($72 billion).

China's three state-owned phone companies are facing increasingly fierce competition as well as costly technology upgrades to support smartphones, tablet computers and other devices. China Mobile said it was stepping up a strategic transformation amid the "challenging backdrop."

The company is the world's biggest phone carrier by number of subscribers. It added 60.7 million accounts last year, bringing the total number to 710 million.

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