BlackBerry loses 3m users in Q4 – but posts profit


Base fell to 76 million during its Q4 (ending March 2). Former co-CEO Mike Lazaridis, has also now retired from his role as vice chair and director of the company

BlackBerry lost three million users in the three months to March 2, 2013, but saw profits rise to $94 million from $14 million in the previous quarter.

Its subscriber base now stands around 76 million, having being 79 million at the end of the previous quarter.

Revenue for its fourth quarter was $2.7 billion, down two per cent from Q3 and 36 per cent from the same period last year.

It shipped six million smartphones, including around one million BlackBerry 10 units, the first of which, the Z10, went on sale in the UK on January 31.

Gross margin was 40.1 per cent, up from 30.4 per cent in the previous quarter. BlackBerry said this was driven by higher average selling prices and hardware margins.

The manufacturer said it will be increasing its marketing spend in its Q1 in support of the global launch of BlackBerry 10, with an anticipated 50 per cent sequential increase included. It expects financial results to break even based on its lower cost base, more efficient supply chain and improved hardware margins.

For its financial year ending March 2, revenue was down 40 per cent to £11.1 billion. It made a loss of $628 million compared with a profit of $1.2 billion in the previous year.

BlackBerry president and CEO Thorsten Heins (pictured) said: “We have implemented numerous changes at BlackBerry over the past year and those changes have resulted in the company returning to profitability in the fourth quarter.

“As we go into our new fiscal year, we are excited with the opportunities for the BlackBerry 10 platform, and the commitments we are seeing from our global developers and partners. We have built an engine that is able to drive improved financial performance at lower volumes, which should allow us to generate additional benefits from higher volumes in the future.”

Meanwhile, BlackBerry co-founder Mike Lazaridis has retired as vice chairman and a director of the company, having served as co-CEO until January 2012.