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China's ZTE 2014 Profit Almost Doubles on Smartphones, 4G Roll-Out

Overseas handset business on the rise.

Reuters / Albert Gea

Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE posted a 94 percent rise in 2014 net profit on Wednesday, in line with its own forecast, due to strength in its smartphone business overseas and high-speed 4G network division at home.

The Shenzhen-based company recorded profit of 2.63 billion yuan ($423.4 million) from 1.36 billion yuan a year earlier, in line with the company’s forecast of 2.6 billion yuan. Operating revenue rose 8.3 percent to 81.4 billion yuan.

ZTE is expanding its handset business overseas, bringing about a more than 50 percent rise in global marketing expenses for 2015. The company aims to become a top-three smartphone vendor in the United States by 2017, where its smartphone shipments jumped more than 50 percent in 2014.

ZTE is also benefiting from the adoption of fourth-generation mobile networks in China, where the company could build up to half a million 4G base stations in 2015, according to Phillip Capital.

ZTE and rival equipment vendor Huawei Technologies each won over 25 percent of the $3.2 billion 4G tender of No. 1 mobile carrier, China Mobile.

ZTE’s Hong Kong-listed shares closed 0.4 percent higher on Wednesday, versus a 0.5 percent rise in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

(Reporting by Yimou Lee)

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