China Unicom

Bounce in Unicom shares after strong 155 per cent, nine-month profit growth alert

Telecom giant also says subscribers grew by 13.04 million, reaching 277 million in the first three quarters

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 October, 2017, 12:45pm
UPDATED : Friday, 20 October, 2017, 4:40pm

Shares in China Unicom, one of the country’s three major state-controlled telecom operators, rose 1.6 per cent by lunchtime on Friday, before paring back gains, after it estimated net profit may have soared 155 per cent year on year for the first three quarters, driven by “robust service revenue growth” and lower expenses.

The group’s preliminary results suggest net profit reached 4.1 billion yuan (US$618.6 million) for the period, according to an alert issued on Thursday evening.

This was “mainly due to robust service revenue growth and lower selling and marketing expenses and handset subsidies,” it said.

The result also helped drive strong growth in mobile subscribers, which grew by 13.04 million, reaching 277 million in the first three quarters of 2017. Within that, the total growth in 4G subscribers reached a record high of 7.56 million, it said.

Despite the results, the state-owned operator sounded a note of caution, however, that the move to abolish mobile domestic long-distance and roaming fee will mean increased competition in the fourth quarter.

The full financial results for the first three quarters will be released on October 27. Its shares closed on Friday in Hong Kong at HK$11.22 (US$1.44), up 1 per cent, mirroring the main Hang Seng Index which ended just over 1 per cent ahead at 28,487.