China Telecom profit falls 9.5 percent

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Associated Press

Posted on March 19, 2013 at 11:05 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 19 at 11:05 PM

HONG KONG (AP) — State-owned phone company China Telecom says profit fell 9.5 percent last year because it spent more money to market the iPhone.

China's biggest fixed-line phone operator said Wednesday it earned 14.9 billion yuan ($2.4 billion8) in 2012, down from 16.5 billion yuan the year before. That's despite revenue climbing 15 percent to 283 billion yuan.

China's phone companies are facing intense competition and the high costs of upgrading their networks to support the latest mobile technology.

Chairman Wang Xiaochu said the company stepped up spending on marketing following the launch of the iPhone last year. He said that put "short term pressure" on profits.

Mobile subscribers rose 34.1 million to 161 million while fixed phone lines fell 6.6 million to 163 million.

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