Huawei Technologies Co.’s revenue gained about 20 percent last year, aided by rising sales of higher-end smartphones.
Revenue increased to at least 287 billion yuan ($46.3 billion) from 239 billion yuan in 2013, Chief Financial Officer Cathy Meng said at a press conference in Beijing today. Operating profit from what Huawei described as its main business increased 18 percent to between 33.9 billion yuan and 34.3 billion yuan. Officials of the closely held company declined to provide more details before the upcoming release of audited financial statements.
Sales growth was led by a 32 percent rise in consumer business due to the increasing popularity of its mid- to high-end phones, Meng said. There also was a 27 percent increase in the unit that provides cloud computing and data projects to businesses.
“Huawei’s consumer business has done a good job.” Meng said. “Our global brand awareness increased remarkably.”
Huawei, China’s largest maker of phone-network equipment, is widening its portfolio of mobile devices, business-computing products and cloud services. The Shenzhen-based company is working toward a goal announced in April of achieving $70 billion in sales by 2018.
Meng’s father, Ren Zhengfei, established Huawei in 1987 after retiring from the Chinese military in 1983. He has built Huawei into the world’s second-largest maker of equipment for phone networks, behind Ericsson AB, without access to the U.S. telecommunications market, where it has battled claims that its gear could allow Chinese intelligence services access for spying. The company has denied the allegations.
It may take 10 or 20 years for U.S. buyers to accept that “Huawei is a company with integrity,” Ren said. Meanwhile, Huawei will speed up efforts in countries where the company has been accepted, he said.
The company’s expansion of consumer products such as mobile devices faces competition from low-cost domestic producers, including Xiaomi Corp. and Lenovo Group Ltd.
Huawei ranked fifth in global smartphone shipments during the third quarter, with 5.1 percent of the market, Strategy Analytics said in October. The company trails Samsung Electronics Co., Apple Inc., Xiaomi and LG Electronics Inc., the market researcher said.
Huawei is counting on its Honor phones to help capture the top position in China’s smartphone market and one of the top two positions globally, Jeff Liu, president of the Honor line, said in an interview last month.
— With assistance by Edmond Lococo