China Mobile appoints new CEO, profit up 4.2% in H1

22:20, August 19, 2010      

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China Mobile, the world's largest mobile operator by subscribers, Thursday announced a personnel change by re-designating Li Yue, Executive Director and Vice President of the Company as Chief Executive Officer, and reported a 4.2 percent increase in profit for the first half of 2010.

Chairman Wang Jianzhou, also known as former CEO, informed the restructuring at a press conference held here on Thursday.

Wang said that Li has many years of experience in the telecommunications industry and separating the roles of chairman and chief executive officer was the best practice for corporate governance.

However, when asked if the move was in preparation for his stepping down, Wang did not give a direct answer. Wang said that being the head of a listing company, he could not decide by himself but will break the news at the first time when decided.

In his speech, Wang said China Mobile was blessed with a positive business environment as the Chinese economy continued to show healthy momentum in the first half. But it was also faced with external challenges including high and increasing mobile penetration rates and intensifying industry competition, he said.

According to the interim results, China Mobile's operating revenue maintained steady growth in the first half of 2010 to reach 229.82 billion yuan, an increase of 7.9 percent from the first half of 2009. The company's EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, deprecation and amortization) amounted to 116.62 billion yuan, advancing 6.1 percent year on year.

China Mobile had a total of 554 million customers by the end of June this year, of which 31.76 million were net additions.

Wang said China Mobile placed emphasis on its value-added services business which had become major driving force of revenue growth. Revenue from the value-added business soared 13.4 percent year on year, contributing 29.5 percent to its operating revenue.

Wang noted the development of some sectors of the market including the rural market, the migrant worker market and the family market, are showing great growth potential.

In addition, the flourishing of mobile internet and the " Internet of Things" being gradually integrated into people's daily lives also provide the Group with new models and areas for business growth, he said.

Last week, China Mobile signed a framework agreement with Xinhua News Agency to set up a new internet search engine company. Wang stressed the new search engine will be different from previous ones, which aims to connect hundreds of millions of mobile phones. He said he was confident in the market's great potential but specific programs were still under discussion and there was not yet a timetable.

China Mobile closed at 84.45 HK dollars (10.9 U.S. dollars) per share by midday Thursday, up 0.18 percent, with its total market value standing at 1,693.4 billion HK dollars (217.9 billion U.S. dollars). (1 U.S. dollar equals 6.79 yuan)



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