BEIJING, April 10 (Reuters) - ZTE Corp , China’s second largest telecom equipment maker, expects its first quarter net profit to more than double as it chases higher margin contracts and benefits from China’s roll out of 4G telecom networks.
In a stock exchange filing, the Shenzhen-based ZTE forecast profits for the January-March quarter to rise to 425-637 million yuan ($68.5-102.7 million) from 205 million yuan in the same year ago period.
ZTE and rival Huawei Technologies Ltd are set to reap the rewards of contracts to build high-speed 4G mobile networks at home and abroad. ZTE predicts global spending on 4G will be $100 billion in 2014 and that spending in China will be 100 billion yuan ($16.13 billion).
ZTE also hopes to ship 60 million smartphone units this year, with at least 40 percent, or 24 million, of those being 4G handsets, the company said.
ZTE’s Hong Kong-listed shares closed 1.4 percent higher at 16.40 Hong Kong dollars ($2.12) on Thursday, versus a 1.5 percent increase in the Hang Seng Index. ($1 = 6.2005 Chinese Yuan) ($1 = 7.7531 Hong Kong Dollars) (Reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by Miral Fahmy)