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Hong Kong/Beijing: China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd on Friday posted its biggest annual revenue growth since 2008, boosted by China’s adoption of fourth-generation (4G) mobile technology and strong sales of smartphone worldwide.

Huawei, one of the world’s largest telecom equipment makers, said total revenue rose 37% to 395 billion yuan ($61.10 billion) in 2015, slightly above its forecast of 390 billion yuan.

The Shenzhen-based company said it expects revenue to increase to $75 billion this year, which implies the growth rate will slow to 23%, according to Reuters calculations.

The company had in early 2014 targeted overall revenue of $70 billion by 2018, which translated to growth of roughly 10%.

Huawei forecast 2016 revenue of $30 billion for the consumer devices business, which was its fastest growing division and second-biggest revenue generator last year.

The forecast implies revenue growth in the business will slow down to about 51% in 2016 from about 73% in 2015, when the company outperformed domestic peers Lenovo Group and Xiaomi Inc.

Huawei became the first Chinese handset vendor to ship more than 100 million smartphones in a year in 2015 when a 44% jump in its shipments defied a market slowdown.

That helped the company’s net profit rise 32% to 36.9 billion yuan last year, from 27.9 billion yuan a year earlier.

Huawei’s growth is “a direct result of strategic focus and heavy investment in our core businesses," Guo Ping, one of the company’s CEOs who holds the post on a rotating basis, wrote in a statement.

Revenue in Huawei’s carrier business, which competes with Sweden’s Ericsson for the top spot globally for telecommunication equipment, increased 21.4% in 2015 on strong demand for 4G telecommunication equipment.

The carrier business is Huawei’s biggest, accounting for about 59% of 2015 revenue.

The company’s smallest business is the enterprise division, which builds private networks for companies and organisations. Revenue in the business rose 43.8% last year.

Huawei said it spent 15% of its revenue last year on research and development, above its guidance of 10%. Operating margins dipped to 11.6% from 11.9%.

Total liabilities stood at 253 billion yuan, versus total assets of 372 billion yuan, the company said. Reuters

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