BlackBerry dials up $423m fourth quarter loss

Friday 28 March 2014 13.34
BlackBerry's revenues fell to $976m in the fourth quarter, down from $2.7 billion
BlackBerry's revenues fell to $976m in the fourth quarter, down from $2.7 billion

The struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry today reported a loss of $423m in the fourth quarter of its 2014 fiscal year, with revenues plummeting.

The company said revenues fell to $976m in the fourth quarter - down from $2.7 billion 12 months earlier.

Sales of smartphones fell from 1.9 million to 1.3 million in the fourth quarter, the company added.

BlackBerry said it delivered some 3.4 million smartphones in the quarter, but 2.3 million were the older models using its BlackBerry 7 operating system.

The company last year introduced the BlackBerry 10 operating system in an effort to regain ground lost to rivals such as Apple and others using the Google Android operating system.

In December, BlackBerry unveiled a manufacturing partnership with Taiwan-based Foxconn and a revamped organisational structure. The deal makes Foxconn the manufacturer and allows BlackBerry to focus on software and services.

The company also announced last year it was slashing some 4,500 jobs, or 40% of its workforce, as part of the restructuring.

BlackBerry at one point last year put itself up for sale, but later abandoned hopes of finding a buyer, and instead pegged its future on a $1 billion cash infusion.

The revenue breakdown for the fourth quarter was 37% for hardware, 56% for services and 7% for software and other revenue.

"I am very pleased with our progress and execution in the fiscal fourth quarter against the strategy we laid out three months ago,"  said chief executive John Chen, who took the reins in November as the company sought to revive its fortunes.

"We have significantly streamlined operations, allowing us to reach our expense reduction target one quarter ahead of schedule. BlackBerry is on sounder financial footing today with a path to returning to growth and profitability," he added.

The loss for the fiscal year ending March 1 amounted to $5.9 billion, a huge increase from the loss of $646m a year earlier. Revenues meanwhile slumped nearly 40% for the full year to $6.8 billion.