Troubled smartphone maker HTC reported a sharp drop in revenue last month, with the company’s weak start to 2016 continuing as it faced ongoing headwinds in the saturated smartphone market.
The news also comes shortly after the high-profile launch of its Vive virtual reality headsets, as the vendor looks to adjacent markets for growth away from smartphones.
Taiwan-based HTC’s consolidated sales in March plunged 79 per cent year-on-year to TWD4.14 billion ($128 million). According to Taipei Times, this is its lowest for 11 years – HTC’s website does not show a lower monthly revenue in the period from 2006.
For the first quarter revenue was down 64 per cent to TWD14.82 billion from a year ago. The company will provide further quarterly metrics in due course.
Almost a month ago, following a request from Taiwan’s stock market “given recent share price movement”, HTC revealed operating losses of TWD1.3 billion ($40 million) for January and TWD1.5 billion for February, with a net loss of TWD1.1 billion in January.
It posted a net profit in February (TWD824 million) due to a property sale which brought in TWD2.1 billion.
While HTC has revealed uninspiring sales figures for 2016 to date, its shares had seen something of a rally in early March, which prompted the stock market’s request. It was suggested that the rise was linked to early success for its Vive virtual reality headsets, where the company is perceived as something of a market leader.
Gartner last week forecast global smartphone sales to slow to just 7 per cent this year – after years of double-digit growth — with shipments in China and North America expected to be flat.
Hua Nan Securities analyst Kevin Su said HTC “remains haunted by stiff competition” in the global smartphone segment at a time when the market has been saturated, Taipei Times reported.