State-owned China Tower recorded double-digit profit growth in 2023 despite revenue decline in its core telecoms service provider business, with a fall in the number of towers managed spurring an increase in its tenancy ratio.

Net profit for the year grew 11 per cent year-on-year to CNY9.8 billion ($1.4 billion), while overall revenue inched up 2 per cent to CNY94 billion.

Tower business sales fell 2.8 per cent to CNY75 billion, and revenue from its indoor DAS business grew 22.5 per cent to CNY7.1 billion. The cumulative building coverage area jumped 37.3 per cent to 10.2 billion square metres.

Its smart tower unit increased 27.7 per cent to CNY7.3 billion. Sales from its energy unit rose 31.7 per cent to CNY4.2 billion, with revenue from its battery exchange business accounting for almost half of the total. The number of battery exchange users increased by 243,000 to nearly 1.2 million by end-2023.

In its earnings release, chairman Zhang Zhiyong said the company completed around 586,000 5G sites in 2023, with more than 95 per cent achieved by sharing existing resources. 

The number of towers under management fell by about 9,000 to 2.1 million; it added 62,000 new tenants since end-2022, bringing the total to 3.4 million.

The company noted its tenancy ratio increased due to improvements in co-location.