ZTE books $456M annual loss on delayed deals

Summary:The Chinese telecoms gear maker posted its first yearly loss--at the upper end of its earlier estimates, due to a delay in overseas projects and low-margin contracts.

China's ZTE has posted its second straight quarterly loss in Q4, to round off its first yearly loss ever.

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In a statement Wednesday, the world's fifth-largest telecommunications equipment maker said it booked an annual net loss of 2.84 billion yuan (US$456 million). This was within its preliminary estimates in January of a loss of between 2.5 billion (US$402 million) and 2.9 billion yuan (US$466 million).

In the fourth quarter, ZTE's net loss was 1.1 billion yuan (US$176 million), reversing the net profit of 991.6 million yuan (US$159.4 million) a year earlier. Sales in the fourth quarter fell 16 percent to 23.5 billion yuan (US$3.78 billion).

The company had reported a net loss of 1.95 billion yuan (US$313.7 million) in the third quarter.

ZTE blamed the "significant" decrease in its profit margin due to a large number of low-margin contracts in Africa, South America, Asia and the domestic market.

The company added in the statement: "Owing to the combined effects of, among others, postponed execution of certain systems contracts and decrease in revenue from terminals in the domestic market, and delayed progress of certain international projects, we experienced a decline in overall operating revenue as compared to 2011."

Earlier this month, ZTE said it had reduced some middle and senior management positions amid an ongoing organizational review which begun last year to streamline the organization.

Topics: Networking, China, Hardware, Telcos

About

Loves caption contests, leisurely strolls along supermarket aisles and watching How It's Made. Ryan has covered finance, politics, tech and sports for TV, radio and print. He is also co-author of best seller "Profit from the Panic". Ryan is an editor at ZDNet's Asia/Singapore office.

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