Huawei reports strong EMEA growth in 2013 as China powers ahead

China was Huawei's strongest market for sales growth in 2013, despite Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) being the company's top revenue-generating region last year.

The Chinese vendor generated sales of 84.6 billion yuan (€9.8 billion/$13.6 billion) in EMEA in 2013, a rise of 9.4 per cent year on year, which it attributed to higher sales of infrastructure, professional services and smartphones in the region. However, revenue from the company's domestic market generated the highest sales growth in 2013--up 14.2 per cent over 2012 to 84 billion yuan--on the back of strong performances from its enterprise and consumer businesses.

Sales in the Americas fell a marginal 1.3 per cent year on year despite the company cutting its focus on the U.S. due to ongoing allegations about Huawei's involvement with the Chinese government, and recent counter claims that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has built back-door access to Huawei servers.

The overall growth in sales through 2013 helped Huawei grow net profit for the year by just over a third to 21 billion yuan.

CEO Ren Zhengfei said Huawei must keep a tight grip on its future technological developments in order to remain competitive. "We must avoid innovating blindly. If there is cry for innovation everywhere, that will be a death song for us," he stated in the company's annual report.

Despite the company's problems in the U.S. Zhengfei said the country remains the leader in tech innovation. "They have advanced systems, flexible mechanisms, clear property rights, and respect and protection of individual rights…The U.S. is not lagging behind; it is still a model for us to learn from."

Outgoing rotating and acting CEO Eric Xu said Huawei benefitted from an improved global macro economy in 2013, and pledged to continue investing in core technologies, and work "closely with all stakeholders" on cyber security.

Huawei announced Monday that Xu is set to be replaced by Guo Ping on April 1, as part of a strategy introduced by Zhengfei in 2011 that sees him split the CEO role with three company executives to address concerns over his former links to China's military.

For more:
- see Huawei's annual report
- see Huawei's rotating CEO announcement
- read this Reuters article on Huawei and the NSA

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