PCCW posted a strong 24.5 per cent growth in interim net profit to $954 million from a restated $766 million net profit a year ago. The result was at the high end of market expectations. As in recent years, the fixed-line operator's bottom line growth was boosted by income from its Cyberport luxury residential project Bel-Air. But management hinted that its fixed-line business, which has lagged for the past two years, would also be a growth driver. PCCW's overall fixed-line market share dropped to 67 per cent at the end of June, from 68 per cent at the end of last year. However, losses from its fixed-line business slowed to just 1,000 customers in June, from 16,000 a year ago and 38,000 in June 2003. There was a bright spot in its pay-television business, Now Broadband, which saw subscribers increase 22 per cent to 441,000 at June, from 361,000 at end of last year.