Huawei sells 59 million smartphones in Q1, revenue up 39%

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A Huawei store advertises the new Mate20 phone in Shanghai on Mar. 22, 2019 (Image credit: Cassidy McDonald / TechNode).

Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei announced on Monday that its first-quarter revenue grew by 39% year on year to RMB 179.7 billion (around $26.8 billion) and net profit margin was about 8%.

The company said in an unaudited quarterly earnings report that it had signed 40 commercial contracts for 5G, the next generation of mobile networks that promise ultra-fast data speeds, with global carriers and shipped more than 70,000 5G base stations to markets around the world in the first quarter of 2019.

“2019 will be a year of large-scale deployment of 5G around the world, meaning that Huawei’s Carrier Business Group has unprecedented opportunities for growth,” said the company in a press release.

Huawei said its consumer business, which includes smartphones, PCs, and other internet-powered devices, performed well with smartphone shipments reached 59 million units in the quarter.

Huawei has been releasing annual reports since 2006 when it published its 2005 financial figures, though the company is not listed on any stock market. However, it is the first time that Huawei has released a quarterly earnings report, as the company is seeking to shore up trust in its scandal-plagued 5G equipment business.

A Huawei spokesperson declined to comment on why the company decided to start publishing its quarterly earnings report at this specific time, and would not confirm whether it would be a routine.

Huawei is the world’s largest telecoms equipment maker and has become a major 5G technology supplier. But the US government has been campaigning to exclude Huawei equipment from its allies’ 5G networks, citing security concerns. The latest allegation from the US government includes claims that Chinese security agencies help fund Huawei.

Huawei reported in March that it earned RMB 721.2 billion and generated a net profit of RMB 59.3 billion in 2018, despite crackdowns by the US over its technology.