China Mobile (CHL.NYSE, 0941.HKG) profits barely grew in the first quarter, rising 0.4% to US$4.5 billion (RMB27.9 billion), on higher costs for developing a 4G network, Bloomberg reported. Subsidized smartphone sales also negated gains from high-speed internet users. The earnings report missed consensus expectations by RMB100 million. China Mobile, the world’s largest phone company by subscribers, said last month that the costs of developing its TD-LTE 4G network would boost it’s capital expenditures by 49% this year. Sales increased 5.7% to RMB134.7 billion for the quarter, beating the consensus of RMB134.1 billion. The company has also subsidized mobile handset sales to keep its lead in smartphone sales.
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