BlackBerry CEO hails ‘outstanding’ Q4 performance

Remark made after profits jumped more than 500 per cent as Heins reveals 55 per cent of new Z10 customers have come from rival operating platforms 

BlackBerry president and CEO Thorsten Heins has branded the firm’s Q4 financial performance as “outstanding”, after profits jumped from $14 million (£9 million) to $94 million (£62 million) in three months.

Heins, who was speaking during a media and analysts conference call last week, revealed sales of its Z10 device – which launched in the UK on January 31 – have now topped one million and 55 per cent were to new BlackBerry customers.

Heins added demand for the Z10 exceeded the firm’s own expectations and production to fulfil orders in launch markets, including the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia, had to be increased.

Heins said the Z10 will be launching with a further 60 carriers across 40 countries in the coming weeks, with a planned 30 additional countries to come on board thereafter.

UK growth
BlackBerry chief financial officer Brian Bidulka also revealed sales in the UK grew 13 per cent sequentially to represent 13 per cent (£232 million) of the manufacturer’s total revenues.

But global customer numbers declined by three million to 76 million during the same period.

Heins said: “Our financial transformation over the past 12 months has been outstanding. To say it was a very challenging environment to deliver improved financial results could well be the understatement of the year.

“We are pretty excited by the statistics we are getting from the market and that is testament to the strength of the product.”

In addition the Q10, the first smartphone running BlackBerry 10 to feature a QWERTY keypad is currently being tested with 40 carriers in 20 countries with an anticipated release in the UK later this month.

Heins said the Q10 will prove popular among existing BlackBerry customers who are more accustomed to full QWERTY keyboard.

“We have always been strong in QWERTY-based smartphones, and we’re looking forward to addressing that market segment even more,” he said.

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