Xiaomi posts impressive profits on the back of strong sales in India

Xiaomi continued to dominate the Indian market this year, and it now has the numbers to back it up. The Chinese manufacturer posted a profit of 2.48 billion RMB ($357 million) for the quarter ending September on total sales of 50.85 billion RMB ($7.3 billion). Its smartphone business accounted for a major chunk of that revenue, with sales totaling 35 billion RMB ($5 billion).

Overall revenue was up by 49.1% from the same period a year ago, with international sales growing by 113% from Q3 2017. Xiaomi sells a majority of its phones in China and India, but it is also looking to Western markets to fuel growth. The brand made its official debut in the UK earlier this month, launching the Mi 8 Pro and a slew of lifestyle products in the country. Xiaomi also launched its $2,000 laser projector in the U.S. via an exclusive partnership with Walmart.

While the outlook is rosy for Xiaomi, the brand is primarily known for its entry-level devices — in markets like India, the Redmi series drives an overwhelming majority of the sales for the brand. As a result, Xiaomi is diversifying to cater to varied audiences. There's now a gaming-focused sub-brand dubbed Black Shark, and POCO is taking the challenge to the likes of OnePlus in the affordable flagship category. The POCO F1 is one of the best phones of the year for the sheer value it offers, and it looks like Xiaomi will rely on the sub-brand to target the premium segment in India.

Xiaomi has also announced this week that it is taking over Meitu's hardware business to sell more selfie-focused devices. The move will allow the brand to target a broader set of consumers, but at some point Xiaomi has to sell phones with higher margins to boost profits. The brand has staunchly stated that it will not exceed a profit margin of 5% from its hardware business, so it will be interesting to see how it will look to bolster its bottom line in the years ahead.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.