China Mobile, China Unicom book profit growth in Q1

24 Apr 2019

China’s largest wireless provider by subscribers, China Mobile, has reported operating revenues of CNY185.0 billion (USD27.5 billion) for the first three months of 2019 – a decrease of 0.3% compared to Q1 2018 – with the provider citing declining mobile data tariffs and the cancellation of domestic data roaming charges in July 2018 for the drop. EBITDA for the period grew by 4.4% year-on-year to CNY72.7 billion, although this was partially due to a change in reporting standards, the operator noted. The dip in revenue, combined with an increase in expenditures from inflexible items, led to an 8.3% y-o-y decline in net profit fell to CNY23.7 billion. China Mobile counted a total of 931 million wireless subscribers at the end of March 2019 (up from 925 million three months earlier), of which 723 million were 4G users (713 million at end-December 2018). Mobile ARPU reached CNY50.3 from CNY45.4 in Q4 2018, whilst average monthly data consumption increased from 5.3GB to 5.7GB over the same period. China Mobile also claimed a total of 167 million fixed broadband subscribers – an increase of ten million compared to December 2018 – but ARPU dipped from CNY31.5 to CNY30.8.

Rival provider China Unicom, meanwhile, has recorded total revenues of CNY73.1 billion for Q1 2019, down by 2.4% y-o-y. Similar to its larger competitor, Unicom’s EBITDA for quarter was also boosted by a change in its reporting standards, with the company booking EBITDA of CNY25.0 billion for the period – an increase of 4.6% y-o-y. Net profit for the three-month period grew to CNY3.7 billion from CNY3.0 billion. In terms of subscribers, Unicom reported a total of 323.136 mobile users (up from 315.036 million in December 2018), including 230.444 million 4G subscribers (219.925 million three months earlier). Fixed broadband accounts grew by 1.9% q-o-q to 82.392 million, whilst fixed telephony subscriptions dropped from 55.899 million to 54.920 million.

China, China Mobile, China Unicom