China Tower booked double-digit profit growth in the first three quarters of 2020 as site tenants continued to rise and non-tower businesses recorded revenue gains.

Net profit increased 17.8 per cent year-on-year to CNY4.56 billion ($682 million) and operating revenue rose 5.6 per cent to CNY60.2 billion.

Growth was led by the trans-sector site application and information (TSSAI) and energy businesses, with revenue rising 92.8 per cent to CNY2.61 billion. Its indoor distributed antenna system (DAS) unit booked a 36.9 per cent increase in sales to CNY2.63 billion, while tower business turnover grew 2.2 per cent to CNY54.8 billion.

In a statement, chairman Tong Jilu noted revenue from its non-tower businesses accounted for 9 per cent of total operating revenue for the period, up from 6 per cent in the opening nine months of 2019.

Tong expects China’s accelerated 5G deployments to create “ample development opportunities for the company”, which will continue to push increased sharing of resources by operators.

The number of towers under management increased by 46,100 to 2.02 million, with tenant numbers up 2.3 per cent to 3.34 million. Average tenancy per tower rose to 1.65 from 1.6 in the 2019 period.

China Tower said it now manages 345,000 5G sites.