Struggling handset maker HTC announced a return to profit in the fourth quarter of 2013 with revenue meeting its forecast for the period.
This follows the company reporting its first ever loss in the third quarter 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.
The company’s unaudited consolidated Q4 results included revenue of TWD42.89 billion ($1.43 billion) and a net profit after tax of TWD0.31 billion.
Revenue was 28.5 per cent down on the TWD60 billion reported for the same period a year ago but was within the range of TWD40 billion and TWD45 billion forecast by HTC. However, it was below the TWD47.0 billion reported for the third quarter despite potential for a sales boost in the run-up to Christmas.
The net profit was an improvement on the TWD3.0 billion net loss for the third quarter but way down on the TWD1.01 billion net profit for the same period in 2012.
However, the slim net profit was below the TWD0.72 billion estimated by Thomson Reuters while the company also reported an unaudited operating loss of TWD1.56 billion.
For 2013 as a whole, HTC achieved consolidated revenue of TWD203.4 billion, down 29.6 per cent on 2012. Revenue in December 2013 was TWD12.4 billion, down 42.4 per cent year-on-year and 19.6 per cent on the TWD15.5 billion recorded in November.
During Q4, HTC won a High Court appeal in the UK, allowing it to resume shipments of its One Mini in the country. This followed a patent suit filed by Nokia.
The third quarter loss coincided with the launch of new flagship products such as the One mini (pictured) and One max coupled with weakness in the fiercely competitive mid-tier market.