EBITDA margin rose to 29.04 percent in the second quarter from 28.1 percent the previous quarter, but the figure remained lower than the 31.7 percent recorded a year earlier.
Analysts also said lower-than-expected sales of high-end smartphones, particularly the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4, and lower procurement costs, thanks to pricing pressures on low-end phones, meant Taiwan Mobile spend less in handset subsidies last quarter, helping it report a sequential increase of 4 percent in net profit.
“We expect the operating environment to remain healthy for operators until the expected big-screen iPhone launch in the second half of 2014,” Citigroup Global Markets Inc analyst Timothy Chen (陳建光) said in a separate note.
Nevertheless, the potential launch of a low-cost iPhone and the iPhone 5S later this year could affect Taiwan Mobile’s handset sales and subsidy costs, clouding its EBITDA margin outlook in the second half, analysts said.
Taiwan Mobile shares closed 0.46 percent lower at NT$109 yesterday.