China Unicom has issued a profit warning for the first nine months of 2016 stating that it expects profit to fall by around 80.6% year-on-year to CNY1.588 billion (USD235.64 million). The operator attributed the decline primarily to sales and marketing expenses, which it said had increased substantially from the same period of 2015, and the addition of the tower usage fee as well as a number of other cost pressures, such as higher energy charges and property rental fees. Despite the decline, Unicom noted that it represented an improvement from a net loss of CNY3.363 billion in the second half of 2015, and stressed that it would capitalise on innovation and cooperation to return the business to full strength. Indeed, the provider said that it had ‘achieved initial success in overcoming operational challenges’ and expects to register net additions of around 9.76 million mobile users during the period, bringing its total to around 262 million. In terms of 4G subscriptions, the cellco expects its LTE user base to reach 88.90 million, representing net additions of 44.75 million including 6.05 million in September alone.