Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor Huawei Technologies has seen its revenue for the first quarter of 2021 fall by 16.5% year-on-year to 152.2 billion yuan (A$30.5 billion), which the company said was as per its forecast.
In a statement, Huawei, a private company headquartered in Shenzhen, said revenue from its consumer business fell, partly due to the sale of its budget smartphone unit Honor in November last year.
However, the company said its net profit margin, based on unaudited figures, had risen by 3.8 percentage points year-on-year to 11.1%.
This was put down to efforts to improve operations and efficiency. Patent royalties brought in US$600 million (A$770 million).
Over the last two years, the company has been fighting to stave off the effects of the crippling US sanctions which have hit both its flagship smartphones — due to its inability to obtain top-end chips — and its carrier business due to the US bulldozing many countries to avoid buying its 5G gear.
The company’s smartphone business has been affected by the fact that it is unable to source the proprietary Google apps — the PlayStore, Maps, YouTube and Drive, among others — that are part of the Android mobile operating system.
To cover for this, Huawei has developed its own mobile operating system named HarmonyOS based on the free version of Android, and also built an ecosystem for downloading apps known as Huawei Mobile Services.
“[The year] 2021 will be another challenging year for us, but it’s also the year that our future development strategy will begin to take shape,” said Eric Xu, Huawei’s rotating chairman.
“We thank our customers and partners for their ongoing trust. No matter what challenges come our way, we will continue to maintain our business resilience. Not just to survive, but do so sustainably. As always, we will remain focused on the needs of our customers and keep delivering practical business value.
“As always, we remain committed to technological innovation and investing heavily in R&D as we work to address supply continuity challenges caused by restrictions in the market. We will continue making breakthroughs in basic science and pushing the frontiers of technology.”
Despite the US sanctions, last year Huawei managed to post a profit for the full year 2020, due to strong sales in China.
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