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Chinese smartphone maker Huawei's H1 smartphone shipments rise 25 pct on-year

Chinese tech giant Huawei said smartphone shipments rose 25 percent on-year in the first half of the year, as consumers snapped up high-end phones in Europe and Central Asia.

Huawei Consumer Business Group said smartphone shipments were at 60.56 million in the January-June period, a 25 percent on-year increase.

In comparison, research firm International Data Corporation said in a report in June that smartphone shipments worldwide are expected to grow a mere 3.1 percent in 2016, compared to the 10.5 percent growth registered in the previous year.

Sales revenue for Huawei Consumer Business Group for the January-June period came in at 77.4 billion yuan ($11.59 billion). Huawei Consumer Business Group's full-year sales revenue guidance is $28 billion.

"We are quite confident we will achieve that," Roland Sladek, vice president for international media affairs at Huawei, told CNBC by phone.

Huawei's overall sales revenue for H1 2016, announced Monday, which includes its enterprise and carrier businesses, was 245.5 billion yuan, a 40 percent on-year increase. The company's operating margin was 12 percent.

The new flagship P9 and P9 Plus smartphones, which are one of Huawei's latest high-end premium phones, sold 4.5 million units in the first half of the year.

Sales of the P9 and P9 Plus outside China increased by 120 percent, when compared with sales of the previous P8 model for the first half of 2015.

Producing increasingly sophisticated smartphones is part of Huawei's strategy to become a high-end smartphone player, which would put the company in a better position to compete with the likes of Samsung and Apple in advanced markets such as the U.S.

"Huawei wants to be seen as a premium smartphone maker, not a mass market player," said Sladek.

While Huawei does not break down its sales revenue by geography, the company said growth in markets outside China was 1.6 times faster than that in the mainland.

Sladek said the Shenzhen-based company made strides in increasing brand awareness and market share in Europe and the Middle East.

Citing a study from market research firm GFK, Huawei stated its smartphone market share in countries such as Spain, Italy, Poland, Finland and the Czech Republic exceeded 20 percent.

Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

To aid brand awareness and gain market share, Huawei launched the P9 in London in April.

"The brand awareness and market share progressions are more spectacular in Europe and in the Middle East because we started from a low brand perception. We are making strong inroads," Sladek said.

Other geographies remain important to Huawei. In Asia, China is Huawei's home base while it already established presence in markets such as Singapore, Myanmar and Malaysia.

Stateside, Huawei had been attempting to make in-roads by rolling out products, including the hybrid laptop MateBook and the Google Nexus 6P.

Huawei's ambition to conquer the U.S. market took a dent in June due to legal probes from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

But Huawei's consumer business group chief executive, Richard Yu, told CNBC it would not stop the Chinese tech giant from investing in the country because "U.S. consumers...need better products and innovations."

Yu had said in June the company's aim was to hold 25 percent of the global smartphone market within the next five years.

"There's still a long way to go to be a significant player in the U.S. The products are already there, so now we have to increase brand awareness." Sladek said.

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