China Telecom First-Half Profit Beats Analysts Estimates

(Bloomberg) -- China Telecom Corp. reported first-half profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates after the company signed up more high-speed wireless customers.

Net income increased to 11.7 billion yuan ($1.8 billion), compared with 11 billion yuan a year ago, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. The results topped the 11.3 billion yuan median of four analysts’ estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.

China Telecom added almost 32 million 4G subscribers in the first half. The carrier, also the country’s biggest provider of Internet service, is relying more on providing wireless services to help fend off escalating competition from larger mobile phone rival China Mobile Ltd.

China Telecom shares fell 3.3 percent, the biggest daily decline since June 24, to close at HK$4.05 on Tuesday.

Key points from results:
* Operating revenue rose 7.2 percent to 176.8 billion yuan. 
* Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization declined 0.4 percent to 50.6 billion yuan. 
* Management decided not to issue an interim dividend to “maintain adequate funding flexibility.”

With assistance from Jeanne Yang

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