* ZTE Q3 net profit 242 mln yuan
* ZTE net profit Jan-Sep 551.6 mln yuan
* ZTE guided Q3 net profit at 190-440 mln yuan, Jan-Sep net profit 500-750 mln yuan (Recasts with profit guidance, adds context, company comment)
By Paul Carsten
BEIJING, Oct 22 (Reuters) - China’s ZTE Corp said on Tuesday it would post a net profit for 2013, swinging from a loss in the previous year as its focus on cost-cutting and high-margin contracts pays off.
The world’s fifth-largest telecom equipment and smartphone maker in terms of sales did not give a guidance figure for the full-year profit. ZTE did say its net profit for the first nine months reached 551.6 million yuan ($90.54 million), in line with the lower end of its expectations.
ZTE, which competes with Huawei Technologies Co Ltd , said a slowdown in the global telecoms industry had dampened profit growth. It was also affected by the Chinese government’s delay in issuing 4G telecoms licences.
ZTE posted a 2.8 billion yuan loss in 2012. On Tuesday, it reported a 242 million yuan third-quarter net profit, at the lower end of its own guidance of 190-440 million yuan.
ZTE had forecast a 500-750 million yuan profit for the first nine months of the year.
The company had based its turnaround this year on cost-cutting and the roll-out of 4G networks by Chinese mobile carriers. It also limited the number of low-margin contracts it takes on.
ZTE shares closed down 1.72 percent compared to a 1.35 percent drop in the Shenzhen Stock Exchange 100 Index, ahead of the earnings announcement.
The stock has gained 75.9 percent since the beginning of the year, while the SZSE 100 Index has risen 1.68 percent. ($1 = 6.0925 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Paul Carsten; Additional reporting by Chyen Yee Lee; Editing by Miral Fahmy)