BEIJING (Reuters) - Huawei Technologies Co Ltd likely booked a 17 percent increase in operating profit last year, as worldwide adoption of fourth-generation (4G) mobile technology boosted earnings at China’s leading telecommunications equipment maker.
Profit likely reached 33.9 billion yuan ($5.47 billion) to 34.3 billion yuan in 2014, on a roughly 20 percent increase in revenue at 287 billion yuan to 289 billion yuan, the company said on Tuesday in unaudited results.
Huawei competes with Sweden’s Ericsson for the top spot in the market for communications towers and other infrastructure, while racing to develop 5G technology.
In the meantime, the gradual switch to 4G networks has boosted business at both players. Huawei on Tuesday said revenue at its carrier network business rose 15 percent last year.
China’s three carriers alone built close to 1 million 4G towers by the end of 2014, according to some estimates.
Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on Tuesday said Huawei’s 2014 operating profit margin likely matched 2013’s 12 percent, and that the company would continue to invest 10 percent of revenue in research and development.
Huawei executives in 2013 said the company would invest $600 million in 5G research through 2017. At the same time, the company will continue to pursue its multi-year expansion into smartphones and enterprise computing.
Revenue last year rose 32 percent in Huawei’s consumer devices business and 27 percent in its enterprise division.
($1 = 6.2015 Chinese yuan renminbi)
Reporting by Gerry Shih; Editing by Christopher Cushing