China Unicom’s profit increased 26 per cent to CNY10.6 billion ($1.7 billion) in the first nine months of the year while revenue declined 2 per cent to CNY215.3 billion.
Service revenue during the period was up 5.3 per cent to CNY186.8 billion. Mobile broadband revenue increased 24 per cent to CNY80.4 billion, and now accounts for 43 per cent of total service revenue.
At the end of September, Unicom had 297 million mobile connections, up almost 8 per cent from Q3 2013, of which 145.7 million were mobile broadband subscribers. Overall ARPU was CNY45.5, but was CNY65.7 for mobile broadband customers.
Revenue for its fixed-line broadband business, with 68.5 million customers, increased 10 per cent to CNY37.5 billion and accounted for 56 per cent of its total fixed-line sales. ARPU for fixed-line broadband was CNY62.4.
Responding to pressure from the government, handset subsidies fell 32.7 per cent to CNY3.9 billion, and sales and marketing expenses were down 0.3 per cent to CNY31.79 billion in the first nine months of the year compared to a year ago. Interconnection charges were also down, falling 26 per cent to CNY11.1 billion.
The company’s EBIDTA increased 12.5 per cent to CNY72 billion and its EBITDA margin was 38.5 per cent. Earnings per share rose to CNY0.443 from CNY0.35 during the period in 2013.