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Huawei books quickest profit growth

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China's Huawei, the world's number two telecommunications equipment maker, reported its fastest profit growth in four years as expansion in enterprise and consumer revenue far exceeded growth in its network building division.

The unlisted company has benefited from companies investing heavily in cloud and mobile computing, while it has shipped so many mobile handsets that it became the world's third-biggest smartphone manufacturer last year.

Shenzhen-based Huawei is now looking for revenue from Chinese mobile phone operators switching to fourth-generation networks to cushion the impact of a slowdown in network spending abroad.

In 2013, net profit rose 34.4% to 21 billion yuan ($3.38 billion), the company said in a statement today.

Operating profit was 29.1 billion yuan, compared with the company's forecast range of 28.6 billion yuan to 29.4 billion yuan.

"Thanks to the favourable global macroeconomic and industry environment, as well as the effective execution of our company strategy, Huawei basically achieved our business targets for 2013," Eric Xu, Huawei's rotating and current CE, said in the statement.

The company expects revenue to grow 10% this year, and is eyeing total sales of $70 billion by 2018, executives said at a press conference in Shenzhen on Monday.

Revenue in 2013 reached a record 239 billion yuan versus company guidance of 238 billion yuan to 240 billion yuan, as profit margins improved for the second year in a row.

Revenue growth in China, Huawei's second-largest market after Europe, the Middle East and Africa, grew 14% from 2012 to account for over one-third of total sales.

Revenue growth in Huawei's enterprise and consumer businesses was 32% and 18% respectively.

Huawei's carrier network business grew just 4% but accounted for 166.5 billion yuan, or 70%, of revenue.

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