​Smartphones drive Huawei profits up 33 percent for 2014

Huawei's continued push into higher-end consumer smartphones is paying dividends for the company.

Huawei has reported a 33 percent rise in its annual profits for last year, driven by increasing revenues from its consumer smartphone business.

The company today reported full-year 2014 net profits of 27.9bn yuan ($4.5bn), up one-third compared with last year's results, while full year revenues rose 21 percent to $46.5bn.

Huawei's networking business, its main source of earnings, grew 16 percent year on year to $31bn. According to Huawei, half of all LTE subscribers around the world are being served from LTE networks that it constructed.

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However, the company has also become one of the world's largest manufacturers of smartphones and the devices are becoming a bigger part of its overall revenues.

Handsets make up the bulk of its consumer business, which grew 33 percent to $12bn for the year. The results suggest Huawei is on track to meet its target of earning $14bn a year by 2017 from its consumer business, which also includes mobile broadband devices.

The company said it shipped four million Ascend P7 handsets in 100 markets, and three million Honor 6 smartphones within the first six months of their respective launches. Overall it shipped 138 million handsets, of which 75 million were smartphones. In 2011, the company moved on from producing white-label devices to producing its own-brand phones. Today, according to Huawei, 18 percent of all smartphones it sold were in the mid to high-end segment while 29 percent were 4G smartphones. Just over half of its handset revenues came from outside of China.

Huawei's enterprise IT business, meanwhile, grew 27 percent to $3bn.

China remains Huawei's largest market, accounting for 38 percent of revenues for the year, which grew at 35 percent. However, China is only slightly larger than the EMEA region for the company, which accounted for 35 percent of revenues and saw growth of 20 percent.

While Huawei has been blacklisted from national infrastructure projects in the US and Australia, the company's arrangement in the UK - which sees its equipment vetted locally with oversight by the UK government - was given a tick of approval by the UK group in charge of monitoring it. Huawei has won major network upgrade deals in the UK with BT, Vodafone, EE, O2, Talk Talk, Virgin Media, and Sky.

The company earned 15 percent of its revenues from the Asia Pacific and 11 percent from the Americas.

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