ZTE has announced it returned to profitability in its latest fiscal year. ZTE was forced to pay $892 million to the United States government in 2016 after pleading guilty to violating U.S. trade sanctions on Iran, and the fine resulted in the company posting a loss during the 12-month period, although ZTE did state that it was on track to post a 3.8 billion yuan net profit beforehand. Fast-forward a year later and ZTE is back in the black.
For 2017, ZTE has announced that its revenues grew to 109 billion yuan ($17.2 billion), an increase of 7.5-percent over the previous financial year. Of this total revenue, the majority of it was generated by ZTE's carrier network division, which successfully contributed the equivalent of $10.1 billion. Furthermore, the company's consumer products brought in a total of $5.5 billion and the remaining revenue was generated through ZTE's government and enterprise business. On another interesting note, 56.8-percent of the Chinese brand's total revenue came from its domestic market, while $7.4 billion was generated internationally. Profit-wise, ZTE has confirmed that the figure hit 4.6 billion yuan or the equivalent of $726.6 million in 2017, a significant improvement over 2016's loss of $379 million. Currently, the Shenzen-based giant is third in IPTV set-top box shipments worldwide, while it is also third in the smartphone market in Australia. In addition, the company states that it is fourth in the US, Canada, and Mexico. ZTE is also heavily investing into its future, with research expenditure now set at $2 billion for 2018 and a team of over 4,500 people dedicated to the development of 5G tech. In fact, the company has recently formed partnerships with over 20 international network operators in the hope of advancing its 5G ambitions.
ZTE is also expected to have a pretty successful year in terms of consumer electronics. After all, the company is set to launch the highly anticipated successor to the popular Axon 7 which was originally released nearly two years ago. The new device, rumored to be called the Axon 9, is set to sport a large 18:9 display and Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 845 chip. Dual rear cameras are also expected, alongside 6GB of RAM and Android 8.0 Oreo. Aside from the Axon 9, ZTE recently confirmed that a number of 5G products are under development, including various smartphones and tablets.