China Telecom’s financial performance in 2023 mirrored that of rivals China Mobile and China Unicom, with a double-digit profit gain and steady revenue growth but a planned reduction in mobile capex for the current year.  

Net profit for the full year grew 10.3 per cent year-on-year to CNY30.4 billion ($4.2 billion), aided by lower depreciation and amortisation charges and selling expenses, both down as percentage of service revenue. Total operating revenue increased 6.7 per cent to CNY513.6 billion.

Mobile service turnover rose 2.4 per cent to CNY195.7 billion. ARPU was mostly flat for the second consecutive year at CNY45.40.

Full-year capex increased 6.8 per cent to CNY98.8 billion at end-2023. The outlay is expected to drop nearly 3 per cent to CNY96 billion this year. Spending on mobile networks is forecast to decline 15.2 per cent to CNY29.5 billion, accounting for about 31 per cent of the total, down from 35.2 per cent in 2023.

The operator added nearly 51 million 5G package subscribers to end 2023 with 318.7 million, down from 80 million net additions in 2022. Total mobile subs increased by 16.6 million to 407.7 million. 

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