China Tower booked profit and revenue gains in the opening nine months of 2021, as a strategy to diversify operations delivered growth in new business areas.

In a statement, chairman Zhang Zhiyong explained China Tower focused on new features of 5G network construction and made continued gains from a push to diversify away from its core tower business, which accounts for the vast majority of total revenue.

Net profit rose 15.2 per cent year-on-year to CNY5.3 billion ($829.1 million), with operating revenue up 7.3 per cent to CNY64.6 billion.

Tower business revenue increased 3.9 per cent to CNY56.9 billion and indoor distributed antenna system (DAS) 21.3 per cent to CNY3.2 billion. Its trans-sector site application and information unit grew 39.7 per cent to CNY2.8 billion and its energy business 148 per cent to CNY1.4 billion.

The company deployed 20,000 new towers to take its total to 2 million across China. It added 109,000 tenants for a tally of 3.4 million and boosted the average number per tower from 1.65 to 1.69.

Zhang took the helm on 30 September after Tong Jilu, who served as chief since March 2018 retired.