Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom has revealed a 6.6% year-on-year decline in revenues for the three months ended 30 September 2018, down to TWD52.71 billion (USD1.7 billion) from TWD56.42 billion in the third quarter of 2017. Revenues generated in the mobile sector dropped by 13% y-o-y, it said, to TWD23.45 billion, which it attributed to ‘increased market competition and VoIP substitution … partially offset by the increase in smart device sales’. Domestic fixed line revenue for the third quarter was down by 7.2% on an annualised basis at TWD16.50 billion, while broadband access revenues fell 2.3% to TWD4.55 billion.
Chunghwa recorded EBITDA of TWD18.38 billion for the three-month period, meanwhile, representing a 9.1% y-o-y decline, with the EBITDA margin falling to 34.9%, from 35.8%. Total operating costs and expenses for the third quarter of 2018 were down by 3.9% against 3Q17, with this mainly down ‘the lower cost of goods sold and ICT project costs’. Operating income for 3Q18 was TWD10.42 billion, down 16.1% y-o-y, with net income plunging 16.2% to TWD8.50 billion.
In operational terms, at the end of September 2018 Chunghwa had a total of 10.554 million mobile subscribers on its books, down from 10.589 million a year earlier. Nonetheless, the operator highlighted that an increased proportion of these were now signed up to a 4G service, with such customers numbering 9.083 million, or 86.1% of the overall base, at the end of the reporting period. In the broadband sector, meanwhile, Chunghwa noted that it had ‘continued to execute its strategy of encouraging FTTx migration’, and as a result of such action it confirmed that the number of FTTx subscribers had reached 3.606 million (Sep-17: 3.550 million), representing just over 80% of total broadband accesses. Moreover, the telco also revealed that the number of subscribers signing up for speeds of 100Mbps or higher had increased by 10.6% y-o-y, to reach 1.40 million. By comparison, xDSL accesses continued to decline, falling to 893,000 at the end of the reporting period, from 929,000 at end-September 2017.