March 27, 2019 / 1:59 PM / 8 months ago

China's ZTE Corp lost $1 bln in 2018, despite last quarter rebound

HONG KONG, March 27 (Reuters) - China’s ZTE Corp made a net profit of 276 million yuan in the fourth-quarter as it recovered from costly U.S. sanctions which dragged it to an overall 2018 loss of 7.0 billion yuan ($1 billion).

The world’s fourth-largest telecommunications equipment maker by market share was forced to stop most business between April and July last year due to U.S. sanctions. It paid $1.4 billion to lift these and reported its worst half-year loss of 7.8 billion yuan in August.

ZTE’s 2018 loss announced on Wednesday was just within its earlier guidance range of 6.2 billion yuan to 7.2 billion yuan, but was deeper than the average estimate of a loss of 6.2 billion yuan by 10 analysts, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

The company had expected a first-quarter net profit of 800 million to 1.2 billion yuan, against a net loss of 5.4 billion yuan year earlier. It reported a profit of 4.57 billion yuan in 2017 before it became embroiled in a crippling row with the U.S. government over violations of export restrictions.

ZTE said its revenue for the quarter ending in December was 26.7 billion yuan, while its full-year revenue dropped 21.4 percent to 85.5 billion yuan, against an average estimate of 87 billion yuan by 12 analysts. ($1 = 6.7233 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Sijia Jiang; Editing by Stephen Coates and Alexander Smith)

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