Chinese full service provider China Unicom has booked a 3.3% year-on-year decline in operating revenue for the first half of 2015, as a decreasing mobile subscriber base and erosion of its 2G revenue offset a 2.2% improvement in turnover from fixed line services. Revenue for the six month period was CNY144.69 billion (USD22.61 billion), of which CNY120.27 billion was service revenue. EBITDA for the period was CNY50.46 billion, an increase of 5.8% compared to H1 2014, with an EBITDA margin of 42.0% (37.6% in H1 14). Net profit totalled CNY6.99 billion, up from CNY6.69 billion twelve months earlier.
Mobile service revenue was down 9.7% y-o-y, due partly to a decline in the operator’s mobile subscriber base – which fell from 295.003 million to 289.307 million – and a decline in revenue from traditional voice and messaging services. Growing mobile broadband use led to a small uptick in mobile ARPU, reaching CNY42.1 in Q2 2015 from CNY40.3 at end-2014, with mobile broadband services now accounting for 54.5% of mobile service revenue (47.7% in H1 2014).
Unicom reported more positive growth in the fixed broadband segment as it reaps the rewards of its extensive fibre-optic network rollout, reporting subscriber and ARPU growth. The telco counted 70.59 million fixed broadband subscribers at end-June 2015, compared to 67.42 million a year earlier, whilst ARPU grew to CNY64.6 from CNY62.6.