China's ZTE revises down 2015 profit after U.S. export curbs

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp revised down its 2015 net profit on Wednesday due to export curbs imposed by the U.S. Commerce Department for alleged violations of sanctions against Iran.

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

Shenzhen-based ZTE said its 2015 net profit rose 22 percent to 3.2 billion yuan ($493.3 million). On Jan. 19, the company reported a preliminary 2015 net profit of 3.8 billion yuan.

ZTE said in a stock exchange filing the reduction was due to a reassessment of future cash inflows arising from related contracts following the U.S. export curbs.

The publication of the results was delayed as ZTE said it needed to assess the impact of the export restrictions which were imposed last month.

The U.S. government has since said it would ease the restrictions until the end of June and could relax them further if ZTE cooperated in “resolving the matter”.

ZTE will continue to communicate and cooperate with U.S. authorities to “seek a final solution”, the company said.

“The company still cannot fully evaluate the legal liability and potential impact on its earnings and financial situation from the probe,” newly-elected chairman and Chief Executive Zhao Xianming wrote in the filing to Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

“The probe is ongoing and may cause criminal and civil liability under the U.S. law,” Zhao wrote without elaborating.

In a routine management reshuffle, ZTE on Tuesday replaced three senior executives that the U.S. government alleged were involved in the Iran issue, including the now former president.

ZTE has “solved the crisis for the time being” as some of the company’s component suppliers in the United States are resuming their shipments to ZTE after a temporarily halt last month, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Shares of the company, which have not traded on the Shenzhen or Hong Kong exchanges since March 7, will resume trading in both cities on Thursday.

Revenue in 2015 rose 23 percent to a record 100.1 billion yuan thanks to China’s adoption of fourth-generation (4G) mobile technology. ZTE aims to double the figure to 200 billion yuan in 2020, the company told Reuters earlier this year.

Reporting by Yimou Lee; Editing by Mark Potter