Huawei reveals shipment spike for first half of 2019, but what about trade ban?

Huawei has had one of the most challenging periods in company history owing to the U.S. trade ban against it. You might not know it from the firm’s financial results for the first half of 2019 though.

The company announced revenue of 401 billion yuan (~$58 billion) for H1 2019, making for a 23.2 percent year-on-year increase. Focusing on the consumer business, the Chinese manufacturer reported that it shipped 118 million smartphones in the first half of the year. This is a 24 percent increase over H1 2018, when it shipped 95 million units.

Huawei also reported net profit margin of 8.7 percent for the first half of 2019, which is actually down compared to 14 percent in H1 2018.

What about the trade ban?

The company had to contend with the U.S. trade ban in May, with one side-effect being a major drop in smartphone sales in the wake of the ban. The trade ban also affected U.S. operations, as Huawei had to reportedly lay off hundreds of employees at its Futurewei research arm. These could all be contributing factors for the lower profit margin compared to last year.

Kevin Ho, the head of Huawei’s handset business, told Yahoo Finance earlier this month that smartphone sales “bounced back” after June. This sentiment was echoed in the latest earnings report.

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“Given the foundation we laid in the first half of the year, we continue to see growth even after we were added to the entity list,” said Huawei chairman Liang Hua in a press statement. “That’s not to say we don’t have difficulties ahead. We do, and they may affect the pace of our growth in the short term.”

Hua added that Huawei will invest 120 billion yuan (~$17.4 billion) in research and development this year. The company reportedly spent ~$15.3 billion in 2018.

But a big test will come with the Mate 30 series launch, as it marks the firm’s first major league flagship launch since the U.S. sanctions. Would you buy a Huawei phone right now? Let us know in the comments!

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