Page last updated at 08:05 GMT, Thursday, 19 March 2009

China Mobile warning on slowdown

A Chinese man checks his mobile phone
The firm said the global economic slowdown will hit the industry

China Mobile has reported a near 30% rise in annual profits but has warned the mobile industry will not escape the impact of the global economic slowdown.

Net profits at the firm rose to 112.8bn yuan ($16.5bn; £11.6bn) in 2008, up 29.6% from the year before.

However, in the final three months of 2008 profit growth slowed to 11%, which was below forecasts and down from growth of 26% in the previous quarter.

Subscription and usage growth slowed faster than expected in the quarter.

Tough year ahead

China Mobile is the world's largest mobile network operator by subscribers, and said its customer numbers had risen to 457 million in 2008, up 23.8% on the year before.

However, the company acknowledged that it would not be immune to the impact of the global economic slowdown.

"The influence of the financial crisis that swept across the globe in 2008 will likely widen and deepen, and its impact on China's economy will continue," said chairman Wang Jianzhou.

"The telecommunications industry will be affected."



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