China Unicom (Hong Kong) net profit surges 51 per cent on strong 3G sales
The mainland's second-largest wireless operator reports net income jump to 3.06 billion yuan
China Unicom (Hong Kong), the mainland's second-largest wireless network operator, yesterday posted a 51 per cent increase in third-quarter net profit, driven by robust 3G subscription.
For the first nine months, net earnings soared 53.6 per cent from a year earlier to 8.37 billion yuan (HK$10.6 billion), the mobile carrier said in a bourse filing.
For the July-September period, net profit totalled 3.06 billion yuan, according to a calculation by the South China Morning Post. That is well above a 2.84 billion yuan mean estimate of four analysts polled by Reuters.
"The 50 per cent growth momentum could be maintained for the full year and into next year," said Ma Jun, an analyst at Hua Chuang Securities. "The number of 3G subscribers has reached 110 million and the growth is expected to continue."
In the first three quarters, total revenue rose 18.9 per cent year on year to 220.17 billion yuan, Unicom said.
Service revenue from mobile business was 111.94 billion yuan, including 64.65 billion yuan from the 3G business.
Unicom had 272.76 million mobile subscribers at the end of last month, of whom 111.63 million were 3G users. That compared with 169.5 million 3G users for market leader China Mobile.
To cope with competition, Unicom has been increasing marketing expenditure to boost sales. Selling and marketing expenses were 31.89 billion yuan in the first three quarters, up 25.6 per cent from a year ago.
Unicom shares rose 1.66 per cent to close at HK$12.22 in Hong Kong before the announcement. The shares have dropped 1.61 per cent this year, compared with a 0.79 per cent gain for the Hang Seng Index.
Unicom's first-half profit rose 55 per cent to 5.3 billion yuan.