Chunghua Telecom posts earnings data, objectives for 2014

By Ted Chen, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Chunghua Telecom (CHT, 中華電) yesterday staged an earnings conference, with newly appointed Chairman Rick Tsai (蔡力行) pledging sound stewardship of the company to ensure the interest of investors, shareholders, and consumers. The company last year garnered revenues of NT$228.23 billion and generated a net income of NT$39.84 billion. Revenues this year are expected to hold steady at the NT$228.23 billion; however, earnings-per-share performance is anticipated to decline to NT$4.62 from last year’s NT$5.14. Capital expenditure this year is estimated to reach NT$40.13 billion, up NT$3.72 billion from last year’s figures on account of additional investment towards fourth-generation (4G) mobile network infrastructure.

Tsai yesterday pledged to provide its customers stellar standards of services while preserving the interests of the company’s investors and employees. Most notably, amid growing scrutiny over whether the company will relinquish its dominant hold over the nation’s telecoms infrastructure — in particular the vital “final mile,” or the final leg of networks that deliver communication connectivity directly to consumers — Tsai stated that he will seek the opinions of the company’s major shareholders, workers’ union and regulators in formulating a favorable outcome for all parties.

The formerly state-run telecoms company currently commands a 97-percent hold on the nation’s landlines, and an 85-percent hold on ADSL Internet access telephone lines amid growing protests from competitors in the sector. In an effort to promote competition, the National Communication Commission previously urged the company to provide access of its networks to competitors at cost.

Meanwhile, Tsai stated that he will personally visit the company’s union representatives to discuss whether the last mile network segment will be opened up to competitors in the sector.

The company also outlined cloud computing, the upcoming launching of its 4G network and the establishment of its own retail distribution arm among the list of primary objectives for this year.