Huawei's 2011 revenue growth slows

BEIJING Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:38am EDT

BEIJING (Reuters) - Huawei Technologies Co Ltd HWT.UL, the world's No. 2 telecom equipment provider, posted an 11.7 percent increase in sales in 2011, a senior executive said on Wednesday, with the growth slowing from previous years as carriers crimp on spending.

Huawei, which ranks behind Sweden's Ericsson (ERICb.ST) and is ahead other vendors such as crosstown rival ZTE Corp 000063.SZ (0763.HK), had sales of 203.9 billion yuan ($32.4 million) in 2011, Hu Zhonghua, a senior strategy and marketing executive, said at a technology event.

The figure was similar to the one that another Huawei executive announced in Barcelona in February.

Huawei is due to announce its final, audited results later this week.

No other details were immediately available.

Huawei has been capturing market share in the telecom equipment sector, but as sector spending slowed due to weak U.S. and Europe economies, it is diversifying into the enterprise market, which is now dominated by Cisco Systems (CSCO.O).

Huawei's handsets business has also been gaining traction and it is now the world's sixth largest handphone vendor.

However, its telecom equipment business has hit roadblocks in certain markets, most recently in Australia, where the government has barred it from taking part in the country's $38 billion National Broadband Network due to cyber security concerns.

China's foreign ministry urged the Australian government not to discriminate Chinese companies.

"We hope the relevant authorities of Australia will provide a market environment for Chinese companies that is fair and free from discrimination, instead of wearing colored lenses and obstructing Chinese companies' normal operation in Australia in the name of so-called security," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a regular briefing.

(Reporting by Su Dan and Sui-lee Wee; Writing by Lee Chyen Yee, Editing by Jonathan Thatcher)

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