Huawei revenue climbs 23% in first half

Chinese telecoms tech company to invest $17.44bn in research and development this year

In this June 27, 2019, photo, visitors tour the Huawei pavilion at the Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, China. Chinese tech giant Huawei said Tuesday, July 30, 2019 its global sales rose by double digits in the first half of this year despite being placed on a U.S. security blacklist but said it will face tougher conditions. (Chinatopix via AP)

Chinese telecoms technology firm Huawei posted a 23 per cent year-on-year increase in revenue for the first half of 2019, despite facing pressure from US authorities and concerns about the security of its 5G equipment.

Huawei earned $58.34 billion (Dh214.25bn) in revenue in the first six months of this year, the company announced on Tuesday. It did not disclose a profit figure, but said its net profit margin for the period stood at 8.7 per cent of sales.

“Revenue grew fast up through May," said Huawei's chairman Liang Hua, adding that the firm's operations were as smooth as they have ever been.

Huawei and some of its affiliates were placed on an "entity list" by US regulators in May this year, which effectively barred US companies from doing business with the Shenzhen-headquartered firm. This meant companies such as Google - owner of the Android operating system used on Huawei headsets - could no longer work with the company on new projects.

The following week, however, the White House backtracked on an immediate Huawei ban, granting the company a three-month reprieve after US technology stocks tanked. Washington has accused Huawei of aiding Beijing in espionage, a claim the company denies.

Huawei said on Tuesday that it is cautious about its future growth.

"Given the foundation we laid in the first half of the year, we continue to see growth even after we were added to the entity list,” said Mr Liang.

“That's not to say we don't have difficulties ahead … we do and they may affect the pace of our growth in the short term. But we will stay the course.”

Huawei's consumer business contributed most of the unlisted company's revenue in the first half - nearly $32.1bn. Huawei smartphone shipments reached 59.1 million units in the first quarter of this year, more than 12 million fewer than South Korean giant Samsung, according to Massachusetts-based researcher International Data Corporation. US-based Apple shipped 36.4 units globally during that period.

Sales in its carrier business reached $21.29bn in the first half, with Huawei citing steady growth in the production and shipment of equipment for wireless networks, optical transmission and data communications.

Despite concerns raised by the US and its allies, Huawei has secured 50 commercial 5G contracts and has shipped more than 150,000 base stations to markets around the world in the past few years. Its major competitors, Finland’s Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson secured 43 and 22 contracts, respectively, by the end of June.

Huawei also said it would make $17.44bn of investment in research and development activities this year.

“We will get through challenges, and we are confident that Huawei will enter a new stage of growth after the worst of this is behind us," added Mr Liang.