BlackBerry posts Q1 profit of $23 mn; sells 1.6 mn smartphones

Written by PTI | New York | Updated: Jun 20 2014, 03:30am hrs
Black BerryThe firm sold 1.6 million smartphones in the March-May quarter and issued 1.2 million BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 licences.
Canadian handset maker BlackBerry today reported a higher-than-expected net profit of USD 23 million in the quarter ended May 31, helped by growing smartphone sales and higher adoption of enterprise services.

The firm sold 1.6 million smartphones in the March-May quarter and issued 1.2 million BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 licences, in a sign of recovery with the embattled company finally coming out of the red.

The Waterloo (Ontario)-headquartered firm had posted a net loss of USD 84 million is the year-ago period.

Revenue for the first quarter of its fiscal 2015 stood at USD 966 million, down 1 per cent from USD 976 million in the same quarter of previous fiscal.

About 39 per cent of the revenue came from hardware, including handsets, 54 per cent from services and 7 per cent from software and other revenue.

"Over the past six months, we have focused on improving efficiency in all aspects of our operations to drive cost reductions and margin improvement. Looking forward, we are focusing on our growth plan to enable our return to profitability," BlackBerry Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Chen said.

The company sold about 1.6 million BlackBerry smartphones compared with about 1.3 million in the previous quarter.

Handset sales, including shipments made and recognised prior to the first quarter and those that reduced "the company's inventory in channel," were about 2.6 million smartphones, it said.

During the quarter, the firm said it launched 'Project Ion' focused on the Internet of Things market.

Cash and investments stood at USD 3.1 billion at the end of the quarter, up from USD 2.7 billion in the prior quarter.

To check mounting losses and improve operational efficiencies, BlackBerry sold real estate holdings in the US and Canada.

In May, the firm said it would sell a majority of its Canadian real estate holdings to real estate investment firm Spear Street for about USD 278 million, whereas in March, it sold its US office in Texas to Brookfield Property Group.

The firm said it "reduced adjusted operating expenses by 57 per cent year over year and 13 per cent quarter over quarter."

"The company anticipates maintaining its strong cash position, while increasingly looking for opportunities to prudently invest in growth. The company is targeting break-even cash flow results by the end of fiscal 2015," BlackBerry said.

BlackBerry to shut down music, video sections from July 21

New Delhi: Canadian handset maker BlackBerry today said it will shut down the music and video sections on its app store, BlackBerry World from July 21.

The announcement comes close on the heels of BlackBerry's partnership with Amazon to make 240,000 Android apps available to its users.

"While BlackBerry World will continue to offer music and video services via third party applications -- again giving you more choices for your valued content -- we will be closing the music and video sections of our store on July 21st," it said on its blogpost.

It added that previously downloaded content will be available after that date through MyWorld (user account under BlackBerry World).

"Users will be able to access video and music services through a number of popular third party services available through the Amazon Appstore and BlackBerry World," it said.

Under the licensing agreement with Amazon announced yesterday for the Amazon Appstore, users will have access to more than 200,000 Android apps when the Waterloo-based firm introduces its latest BlackBerry 10.3 operating system later this year.

This would mean BlackBerry users will finally have access to popular apps like Groupon, Netflix, Pinterest, Candy Crush Saga and Minecraft.

Along with access to Amazon Appstore, the company will continue to offer BlackBerry World.

Yesterday, the firm said it has entered into a licensing deal with Amazon, which will give BlackBerry 10 users access to 240,000 android apps on the e-commerce giant's app store, a move aimed at boosting the sales of its latest smartphone.