China Unicom recorded a sharp leap in net profit and increased 4G subscriber numbers during Q1, as it continued a recovery started in 2017.
The second-largest operator on the mainland by subscribers increased net profit 249 per cent year-on-year to CNY3.01 billion ($478 million). It said a substantial reduction in interest-bearing debts led to a 56 per cent year-on-year drop in finance costs during Q1 2018.
Its net profit in 2017 increased 192.5 per cent to CNY1.83 billion.
During Q1, an 11.6 per cent year-on-year jump in mobile service turnover to CNY41.5 billion drove overall service revenue up 8.4 per cent to CNY66.6 billion.
The company said it used a low-cost and subsidy model to expand its subscriber base, with 4G subs rising by 19.3 million during the quarter to 194 million. LTE penetration hit 67 per cent at the end of the quarter, as its total mobile subscriber base hit 294 million.
ARPU increased 2.6 per per cent from Q1 2017 to CNY47.90.
China Unicom said going forward it will seize the new opportunities brought by industry developments and mixed-ownership reform.