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March 31, 2009

China Telecom revenue up 4% in 2008

Profit down 96%, hit by impairment charges of $3.5 billion

By CBR Staff Writer

China Telecom has reported a 96% decline in net income to CNY 884m ($130m) for fiscal 2008, compared to CNY 24 billion ($3.5 billion) in the previous year, on revenue up 4% to CNY 187 billion ($27.4 billion).

It attributed the decline in profit to impairment charges of CNY 24 billion ($3.5 billion) for retiring its personal handyphone system assets.

Operating income fell 86% to CNY 5 billion ($733m), while EBITDA fell 4% to CNY 85 billion ($12.5 billion). Free cash flow was CNY 37 billion ($5.4 billion).

Over the year the company said it added 30 million mobile subscribers, and said it aims to add 8 million broadband subscribers this year and boost its broadband subscriber base to 65 million by 2011.

The CDMA mobile phone business it acquired from China Unicom last year reported revenues of CNY 6.15 billion ($901m) for the year.

Looking ahead the company said it plans to cut its Capex by 19% to CNY 39.2 billion ($5.7 billion) this year and focus on transforming into an integrated full-service operator.

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