China Mobile says 9 months profit up 5.4 percent

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BEIJING (AP) — China Mobile Ltd., the world’s biggest phone carrier by subscribers, said Thursday its profit rose 5.4 percent in the first nine months of the year amid fierce competition in music downloads and other online businesses.

China Mobile, one of three major state-owned phone companies, said it earned 92 billion yuan ($14.4 billion) on revenue that rose 8.8 percent to 383.8 billion yuan ($60 billion) in the nine months ending in September.

It gave no breakout of results for the July-September quarter.

The company faces “intense competition” for users of music download, mobile video and other services, chairman Wang Jianzhou said in a statement.

China Mobile’s profit growth has slowed from double-digit levels following a government-orchestrated reorganization of phone companies in 2008 that created three groups, each with mobile and fixed-line assets.

The rival companies have rolled out music and other services to attract users.

China Mobile said it had 633.5 million subscribers at the end of September, up 3 percent from the end of June.

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China Mobile Ltd.: www.chinamobileltd.com