Huawei has posted its biggest net profit in three years, buoyed by sales in its home market and demand for smartphones.
Despite a relatively modest contribution from its core carrier business, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. recorded a healthy 34.4% rise in full-year earnings to 21.0 billion Yuan Renminbi (US$3.47 billion) for 2013.
That's in stark contrast to its Chinese vendor rival ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763), which reported a 10.6% decline in revenues for 2013. (See Sales Slump Takes Shine Off ZTE's Profits .)
According to its annual report, published Monday, the vendor improved its revenues by 8.5% to RMB239.0 billion ($39.5 billion) and boosted operating margin by 3.2 percentage points to 12.2%.
The numbers are in line with the preliminary results reported in January. (See Huawei's Operating Profit Soars.)
Strong performances by the handset and enterprise groups offset the low growth in network sales and suggest the vendor's diversification strategy is well on track.
This appears especially true in Huawei's domestic market, where the consumer and enterprise groups combined increased revenue by 35%. However, due to weaker network business, total sales in China rose by just 14%.
Globally, Huawei, now the world's third-largest smartphone vendor, shipped 52 million smartphones and boosted device sales by 17.8%, while the small enterprise group grew by a third. Sales to operators grew by just 4%. (See Huawei's Handsets Man Has Been Here Before.)
Table 1: Huawei's 2013 Revenues by Business Line
|Revenues by business line in RMB||2013 Revenues||2012 Revenues||Change|
|Carrier Networks||166.5 billion||160.1 billion||4.0%|
|-- of which Wireless Networks||52.5 billion|
|-- of which Fixed Networks||45.1 billion|
|-- of which Global Services||52.0 billion|
|-- of which Carrier Software & Core Networks||16.9 billion|
|Enterprise||15.3 billion||11.5 billion||32.4%|
|Consumer devices||57.0 billion||48.4 billion||17.8%|
|Others||0.26 billion||0.2 billion||32.5%|
|Total revenues||239 billion||220.2 billion||8.5%|
|Source: Huawei Annual Report 2013|
Handsets and other consumer devices now account for 24% of Huawei's revenues, up from 22% last year, while the network group's share has fallen to just below 70%, down three percentage points.
The annual numbers offer up one milestone -- it is the first time Huawei has overtaken Ericsson in terms of total revenues. (See Ericsson Flatlines in 2013, Trails Huawei.)
However, with just $27.5 billion in network infrastructure and services sales to operators, Huawei remains the second-largest telecom sector vendor behind the Swedish firm, which clocked up SEK227 billion ($34.9 billion) in revenues last year.
Acting CEO Eric Xu attributed the performance to "the improved global macro economy, a better business environment, and the effective execution of our corporate strategy."
Xu, who hands over the acting CEO badge to Guo Ping from April 1, promised to increase compensation for staff and to make long-term incentives available "for a larger number of high-performing" employees.
And in a move apparently aimed at heading off claims that it has benefited from subsidized land, Huawei has published details of its real estate portfolio in China.
The company said that up to the end of 2013, it had invested RMB3.13 billion ($503m) on land use rights in 10 Chinese cities. This included RMB601 million for the purchase of rights to its 1.6 million sq meter headquarter campus in Longgang, Shenzhen. After amortization, the carrying value of its Shenzhen land, buildings, and fittings is RMB3.24 billion.
All land in China belongs to the state, and only land use rights are bought or sold.
Privately held Huawei has issued an annual report, prepared by accountants KPMG, for the past half dozen years in response to complaints about its lack of transparency and alleged military and security links.
— Robert Clark, contributing editor, special to Light Reading