BlackBerry hails “streamlined” business; quarterly revenue drops below $1B

BlackBerry hails “streamlined” business; quarterly revenue drops below $1B

28 MAR 2014

John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry, said the company has “significantly streamlined operations” as it looks to produce break-even cash flow results by the end of the current fiscal year.

In a statement supporting the company’s latest quarterly results, the executive said that it has reached its expense reduction target one quarter ahead of schedule. “BlackBerry is on a sounder financial footing today with a path to returning to growth and profitability,” he continued.

BlackBerry is looking to “maintain its strong cash position”, as well as continuing to look for opportunities to cut costs.

The company announced a loss for the quarter to 1 March of $423 million, compared with a prior-year profit of $98 million, on revenue of $976 million, down from $2.69 billion.

This was enough to cheer some observers, who had been anticipating more red ink: in the prior sequential quarter, it lost $4.4 billion, on revenue of $1.19 billion.

For the full year, its loss was $5.87 billion, compared with a $646 million prior-year loss, on revenue of $6.81 billion, down from $11.07 billion.

Reflecting the weakness in demand for its BlackBerry smartphones, around 37 per cent of revenue in the quarter came from hardware, with 56 per cent for services, and 7 per cent for software and other revenue.

In comparison, in the same quarter last year, 61 per cent of revenue came from hardware.

And the shipment numbers are bleak: BlackBerry recognised hardware revenue on “approximately 1.3 million BlackBerry smartphones”, compared with 1.9 million in the prior quarter.

It said that approximately 3.4 million smartphones were sold through to end customers during the period, reducing its inventory in channel, but of these the bulk – approximately 2.3 million – were BlackBerry 7 devices.

According to TechCrunch, John Chen, CEO of the company, said that it will extend the production run of the aging BlackBerry Bold device line.

This indicates the issue that BlackBerry is facing: more than 12 months since the introduction of its first BlackBerry 10 devices, the bulk of its volume is still coming from an aging device powered by a platform the company is looking to transition away from.

Of course, BlackBerry does have new devices in the pipeline, with the Z3, set to debut in Indonesia, also set for a wider global rollout, and the company has high hopes for its planned Q20, a BlackBerry 10-powered device designed to recapture the appeal of earlier BlackBerry smartphones.

Interestingly, BlackBerry’s official statement provided little colour on the adoption of its enterprise mobility management tools, which form an important part of the business following its re-focus on the corporate market.

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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