BlackBerry announced its latest financial figures on Friday for the three months running up to the end of November, and while there was a dip in sales there were still some reasons to be positive about the Canadian company’s future. That said, shares in BlackBerry fell 5 percent in New York to $9.57, valuing the firm at $5bn.
The headline figure was a $148 million loss, a deficit that sounds very unhealthy until you compare it with the $4.4 billion loss that BlackBerry announced in December 2013. Factor out a number of one-off (or “exceptional”) costs and the company actually made a small profit. Sales raked in $793m, a drop from last year and below analysts’ expectations, hence the slump in share price.
Part of BlackBerry’s plan to find its way back to profitability is to concentrate on the qualities that made it famous in the first place: A focus on business security and smartphones with full QWERTY keyboards. The company unveiled the rectangular Passport back in September and has just launched the BlackBerry Classic, and it’s also confirmed that it’s working with Boeing on the ultra-secure Black smartphone.
If BlackBerry does manage to turn its business around and grow into the 21st century then much of its recovery will be down to CEO John Chen, who took over the reins of the company late last year. In the press release announcing BlackBerry’s latest sales figures, Chen said his company had achieved positive cash flow and was now focusing on “expanding our distribution and driving revenue growth.”
46 percent of BlackBerry’s revenues in the last quarter came from hardware. Services accounted for another 46 percent with 8 percent coming from software sales. Chen said that the firm had sold around 200,000 Passports since the device launched — that’s only a fraction of the units shifted by the iPhone and its Android rivals, but it might just be enough to help BlackBerry find its feet again.
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