China’s second largest mobile and broadband provider by subscribers, China Unicom has booked an 18.9% increase in revenue for the nine months to 30 September 2013, as continuing steady growth in the wireless and broadband markets offset declines in the fixed voice segment. Turnover for the period under review was CNY220.17 billion (USD35.95 billion), compared to CNY185.19 billion twelve months earlier. Total costs and expenses also grew, expanding 17.5% to CNY209.01 billion, partially driven by marketing and selling costs which were up 25.6% on an annual basis, as the cellco sought to combat intensifying competition. The cost of 3G handset subsidies in 9M13 was CNY5.82 billion, or 9.0% of service revenue from the 3G business, compared to 10.9% twelve months earlier. Unicom booked net profits of CNY8.37 billion for the nine-month period, up from CNY5.45 billion in 2012.
Sales revenue from the mobile segment increased 20.2% year-on-year to CNY111.94 billion with the cellco registering 272.76 million subscribers (+18.6%), of which 111.63 million were 3G users (+66.9%). Turnover from the fixed line business saw more muted growth of 3.8% y-o-y to CNY64.82 billion, as broadband growing sales took up the slack from the declining voice space. Turnover from broadband increased 10.2% to CNY34.19 billion in the first three quarters of 2013, and overtook the fixed voice to represent 52.7% of fixed line service revenues, compared to 49.7% in the corresponding period of 2011. Unicom registered 64.08 million broadband subscribers at end-September 2013 (+2.3%), alongside 88.72 million fixed voice users (-4.2%).