Taiwanese telco Chunghwa Telecom has reported an unexpected boost to its second quarter results thanks to the knock-on effects of the SARS outbreak. According to Chunghwa, the killer virus caused much of the populace to stay at home, and as a result voice and internet calls soared. Profit for the three month period ended 30 June 2003 climbed 4.8% to TWD13.1 billion, while revenue increased 3.7% to TWD44.8 billion.
Chunghwa continues to control around 90% of the local call sector, but has come under increasing pressure in other markets. With cellular penetration in Taiwan running at around 114%, Chunghwa has a constant struggle to keep control of its traditional market. In a bid to drive growth, the company has invested heavily in ADSL and at the end of June had 2.04 million such subscribers. Internet and data revenues increased 4.1% to TWD8.9 billion in the second quarter. In the highly competitive wireless arena Chunghwa had 7.76 million mobile subscribers, representing a 1.9% quarter-on-quarter increase. The company’s wireless market share was 35% based on revenues and 31% based on subscribers.