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Viettel tops profits of larger rival VNPT

Update: January, 24/2011 - 09:38

HA NOI — The Vie Nam National Post and Telecommunication Group (VNPT) had a greater revenue than the military-run Viettel last year but it came second in pre-tax profit, making VND11.2 trillion (US$560 million) compared to Viettel's VND15.5 trillion ($775 million).

The VNPT is the country's largest telecom operator with two large mobile networks, MobiFone and VinaPhone, along with its international and domestic transmission business. Viettel runs the country's largest mobile network, Viettel, and another four networks in Cambodia, Laos, Haiti and Mozambique.

VNPT's revenue was VND101 trillion ($5 billion) or 27.05 per cent year-on-year increase while Viettel's was VND91 trillion ($4.55 billion) or 50 per cent year-on-year increase, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) said.

The VNPT signed up 15 million phone subscribers and 534,000 MegaVNN and FiberVNN subscribers last year while Viettel signed up 46.3 million new telephone subscribers.

The group also accounts for the largest market share for major services, of which the mobile phone market share accounts for 58.58 per cent, broadband internet market share including ADSL and FTT 71.32 per cent and fixed phone 77.66 per cent.

Its revenue lead is not surprising, given the grunt of its two big mobile providers and its advantages in experience and market share. But Viettel has proven its capacity through leap in subscriber volumes to overcome VNPT's two networks in only four years.

The pace was set at the beginning 2010 when the VNPT targeted earning VND94 trillion ($4.8 billion), an increase of 20 per cent over the previous year while Viettel eyed VND96 trillion ($4.9 billion) up 60 per cent.

The VNPT later increased its target by VND6 trillion ($307 million), showing its determination to keep its top position.

According to experts, the VNPT had the major revenue source from MobiFone and Vinaphone with a combined market share of 55.41 per cent in the country, not to mention revenue from postal, broad band internet and fixed telephone services.

For Viettel, 60 per cent of its revenue came from mobile information services and others from real estate, handset distribution, post and internet.

Deputy Minister of MIC Le Nam Thang said revenue was easily calculated by businesses but when assessing performance both profit and State budget contributions should be considered.

VNPT Group chief Pham Long Tran said the group was still covering losses from falling fixed phone subscriber numbers.

"The number of fixed phone subscribers has decreased by 20 per cent a year while the VNPT has invested a lot in promoting fixed phone services," said Tran. — VNS

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