(This story corrects analyst name in final paragraph.))
HONG KONG (Reuters) - China Mobile Ltd (0941.HK), the country’s largest telecom service provider, reported a 4.6 percent rise in nine-month net profit on Friday on fast mobile data growth despite an industry-wide rate cut.
Net profit rose to 92.1 billion yuan ($13.91 billion) for the January-September period, while revenue climbed 4.9 percent to 569.5 billion yuan, China Mobile said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Handset data traffic increased 113 percent year-on-year, with its 4G customers’ average monthly data usage exceeding 1.5GB, China Mobile said. Its 4G customers number grew to 878 million.
Average revenue per user per month, a key industry performance indicator, edged up 0.8 percent to 60.5 yuan in the nine-month period.
The Chinese government mandated a series of tariff cuts for its three state-owned telcos, effective from September. Jefferies analyst Edison Lee said he expects China Mobile to be the most affected by the measures and face margin pressure due to competition from its smaller rivals.
Reporting by Sijia Jiang, editing by David Evans