China Telecom says quarterly profit down 9 percent due to tax change

China Telecom Ltd., one of China's three main state-owned phone carriers, says its quarterly profit fell 9 percent from a year earlier due to tax changes and a rise in personnel costs.

The Beijing-based company said Tuesday it earned 5 billion yuan ($804 million) in the three months ended March 31. Revenue declined 2.1 percent to 81.4 billion yuan ($13.1 billion).

China Telecom said its profit suffered a "negative impact" due to the replacement of a business tax on the industry with a value-added tax. Spending on personnel rose 16 percent.

Profit in China's state-owned telecoms industry has been squeezed by intense competition and technological change that has required carriers to invest in new mobile phone and Internet infrastructure.