China's ZTE posts fourth-quarter net loss after U.S. sanction case fine

FILE PHOTO - The company logo of ZTE is seen through a wooden fence on a glass door during the company's 15th anniversary celebration in Beijing April 18, 2013. REUTERS/Barry Huang/File Photo

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE Corp 000063.SZ0763.HK on Thursday reported a net loss of 5.22 billion yuan ($760 million) in fourth-quarter profit, as it booked a $892 million charge to settle a U.S. sanctions case.

The loss for the three months through December compared with a profit of 1.09 billion yuan in the preceding quarter. Excluding all one-off factors, the loss was 21.5 million yuan versus profit of 479 million yuan.

Revenue rose 24.6 percent to 29.67 billion yuan from three months prior.

ZTE on March 8 agreed to plead guilty and pay the highest penalty among U.S. sanction cases to end an investigation into violations of sanctions against Iran and North Korea. On Thursday, it said the agreement became effective on March 22.

The fine left ZTE posting a 2.36 billion yuan loss for 2016, rather than 3.83 billion yuan in profit, which would have been 19.2 percent over 2015, ZTE said. Revenue rose 1.04 percent to 101.2 billion yuan.

The settlement ended the prospect of a proposed trade ban by the U.S. government which could have cut off ZTE’s supply chain, and which has been hanging over the company for a year.

ZTE’s Shenzhen-listed shares have since risen 13.9 percent to close at 17.4 yuan on Thursday.

Reporting by Sijia Jiang; Editing by Christopher Cushing