China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited [[CHU]] announced its 2009 interim results today.
In the first half of 2009, the Chinese macroeconomy continued to encounter various challenges brought by the international financial crisis. With the restructuring of telecommunications industry and the issuance of the 3G license, industry competition environment has become increasingly complicated. In the first half of the year, the Company actively pushed forward its internal integration, leveraged on the advantage of full-service resources and stepped up efforts in business expansion. The Company has achieved new progress in various aspects.
In the first half of the year, the Company recorded operating revenue of RMB76.32 billion. Service revenue amounted to RMB74.51 billion, representing a decline of 4.3% over the same period of last year and a decline of 3.3% over the same period of last year when compared on the same basis (Note 1). Service revenue of the GSM business reached RMB34.19 billion, representing an increase of 5.7% over the same period of last year. Service revenue of the fixed-line business reached RMB40.19 billion, representing a decline of 11.3% over the same period of last year and a decline of 9.7% over the same period of last year when compared on the same basis (Note 1). Of the revenue from the fixed-line business, revenue from the fixed-line broadband service was RMB11.73 billion, representing an increase of 10.3% over the same period of last year.
Due to the impact of corporate restructuring and intensified industry competition, the Company recorded profit of RMB6.62 billion, representing a decline of 42.1% when compared with profit from the continuing operations over the same period of last year and a decline of 33.2% when compared on the same basis (Note 2). Basic earnings per share was RMB0.28.
In the first half of the year, the Company’s mobile business grew steadily and the revenue proportion from its mobile value-added services continued to increase. 3G service was launched. The fixed-line business saw greater downward pressure while the fixed-line broadband business continued to grow.
In the first half of the year, the net addition of GSM subscribers was 7.012 million, taking the total subscriber number to 140.377 million. ARPU was RMB41.7, representing a decline of 4.3% over the same period of last year and remained stable compared with the second half of last year. The Company’s mobile value-added services accounted for 26.8% of the total revenue from mobile services, representing an increase of 2.5 percentage points over the same period of last year. Revenue from GPRS reached RMB1.32 billion.
In the first half of the year, the net addition of fixed-line broadband subscribers was 4.832 million, taking the total subscriber number to 34.913 million. ARPU was RMB60.2, representing a decline of 13.5%; a total of 1.118 million local telephone subscribers were lost, taking the total subscriber number to 108.452 million. The revenue proportion of the fixed-line non-voice business to the total fixed-line service revenue (excluding upfront connection fees) reached 47.2%.
Since obtaining the 3G (WCDMA) operating license on 7 January, the Company fully focused on developing 3G network construction and preparing for business operation, and has achieved extensive network coverage. Due to bulk purchase and the synergic effect on networks, the construction cost was reduced. With the same amount of capital expenditure on the 3G network construction as planned for the year, the number of cities covered by 3G network will be expanded from the original 284 cities planned earlier this year to 335 cities.
On 28 August, the Company and Apple reached a three-year agreement for the Company to sell iPhone in China. The initial launch is expected to be in the fourth calendar quarter of 2009. This will provide users with brand new communication and information experience.
In the second half of the year, the Company will implement various effective measures to maintain the steady growth of its mobile business and mitigate the decline of its traditional fixed-line business. The Company will endeavor to promote the rapid growth of its mobile value-added service, fixed-line broadband internet service and integrated services, increase revenue contribution from non-voice and new services. The Company also highly emphasizes on 3G business and will step up its efforts on network construction and optimization, continuous product innovation, and improvement on sales and marketing and handsets strategies. The Company will continue to push forward the 3G pre-commercial trial and aims for a successful launch of 3G business within the year. Meanwhile, the Company will further advance internal integration, strengthen operational management, effectively enhance execution, to continuously increase the overall strength and quality of development of the Company.
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