Chinese kit maker reports sharp increase in smartphone shipments.

Huawei on Thursday reported a 15% year-on-year increase in first half revenue, a considerably slower growth rate compared to a year ago.

The Chinese kit maker generated revenue of 283.1 billion yuan (€35.84 billion) during the first six months of 2017, compared to CNY245.5 billion in the first half of 2016.

While the likes of Ericsson and Nokia would no doubt covet such an increase, Huawei’s year-on-year growth rate this time last year was 40%.

Huawei’s operating margin continued to narrow as well, coming in at 11%, compared to 12% in 1H 2016, and 18% in the first half of 2015.

Nonetheless, the company talked up a positive performance at its three major divisions: carrier networks, enterprise and consumer.

"Huawei continued to boost the efficiency and quality of its operations, and achieved solid growth across all three of its business groups in the first half of 2017. The company is expected to maintain its current momentum, and round out the year in a positive financial position," the company said, in a statement.

In a separate disclosure, Huawei said that its consumer business group, which makes devices including smartphones, saw revenue jump 36.2% year-on-year to CNY105.4 billion. Smartphone shipments surged 20.6% to 73.01 million.

"Huawei devices have resonated with global audiences because of our clear commitment to quality, experience and innovation," said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group, in a statement.

"With a robust consumer devices ecosystem that includes critically acclaimed smartphones, tablets, wearables and now PCs, consumers know that they can trust Huawei to deliver the kind of experience they’re looking for in a premium device," he said.