HTC confirmed a net loss for its third quarter, the first time the struggling handset vendor has reported a negative bottom line.

The Taiwanese company had previously anticipated the loss as it failed to reverse a slowdown in its business and worked to clear its inventory of old products ahead of the introduction of new smartphones.

For the third quarter, HTC recorded a net loss of TWD3.0 billion ($102.1 million), compared to a net profit of TWD3.9 billion in the equivalent quarter a year ago. The Taiwanese handset maker reported revenue of TWD47.0 billion, down 33 per cent on the TWD70.2 billion of Q3 2012.

For the fourth quarter, HTC expects revenue to be even lower, ranging between TWD40 billion and TWD45 billion.

However, the company did see sales in September increase 37.8 per cent compared to August, halting a series of sequential declines.

The company said sales of its new HTC One (pictured) were solid in EMEA, with the HTC One mini and new Desire devices benefiting from the halo effect of the flagship model.

Notable launches during the quarter were the new mid-range HTC Desire 601 and entry-level HTC Desire 300. The company has recently lost share in the mid-tier.

HTC sold back its 24.85 per cent stake in Beats Audio for $415 million during the period, focusing instead on its own proprietary sound technology HTC BoomSound. It also sold its stake in digital content provider Saffron Digital for $47 million.

With sales falling, the company has been forced to cut 20 per cent of its US workforce in an effort to “streamline and optimise our organisation and improve efficiencies after several years of aggressive growth”. There have also been reports that the company is looking to outsource smartphone production to cut costs.

Meanwhile, CEO Peter Chou reportedly relinquished some of his operational responsibilities to focus on product development.