China Unicom has revealed it expects to report a more than doubling of its profit for the first nine months of the year, despite facing significant pressure on mobile service revenues.
The operator's unaudited results show a 116.6% increase in net profit for the first three quarters of 2018 to 8.87 billion yuan ($1.28 billion).
Mobile service revenue grew an estimated 7.2% year-on-year to 125.42 billion yuan, despite the company's ongoing implementation of a national policy requiring operators to upgrade network speeds while reducing tariffs for customers.
The nation's operators have agreed to reduce the cost of mobile data services by at least 30% by the end of the year.
China Unicom also stopped charging domestic data roaming fees from July in response to another government directive. Roaming fees for domestic long distance calls were abolished last year.
In a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, China Unicom said it was able to mitigate these pressures on its mobile revenues by optimizing tariff packages and more heavily promoting large data bundles to its customers.
Fixed line revenues are meanwhile expected to have grown 5.2% year-on-year to 73.22 billion yuan.
China Unicom's profit for the nine month period also includes a 1.47 billion yuan influx resulting from an increase in its share of the profit from tower infrastructure joint venture China Tower following its public listing and new share issuance.
The company added that it is anticipating a seasonal increase in competition during the fourth quarter, but it has strategic plans in place to cope with any challenges.