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Blackberry sees customer base shrink despite $94m profit

Announces Mike Lazaridis will step down
Thu Mar 28 2013, 11:52
Blackberry 10 was unveiled at an event in London

CANADIAN PHONE MAKER Blackberry has posted its first quarterly financials since switching its name from Research in Motion, and things aren't looking too good for the company.

Despite posting an operating profit of $94m, from $2.7bn in fourth quarter revenue, Blackberry's revenues declined 36 percent compared to the same quarter last year and down two percent from the previous quarter. However, the company brought in only $14m in profits in the third quarter, so it looks like Blackberry 10 has done some good.

Blackberry also announced on Thursday that it has lost subscribers, with its customer base shrinking from 79 million in the third quarter to 76 million in the fourth quarter.

Thorsten Heins, Blackberry CEO and president said, "We have implemented numerous changes at Blackberry over the past year and those changes have resulted in the vompany 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 are also excited about the new, dynamic culture at BlackBerry, where we are laser-focused on continuing to drive efficiency and improve the Company's profitability while driving Innovation. 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."

The company also announced that Mike Lazaridis, Blackberry co-founder and co-CEO of the company until last year, will step down from his position after 30 years at the company.

"With the launch of Blackberry 10, I believe I have fulfilled my commitment to the board," Lazaridis said. "Thorsten and his team did an excellent job in completing Blackberry 10. We have a great deal of which to be proud. I believe I am leaving the company in good hands. I remain a huge fan of Blackberry and, of course, wish the company and its people well."

So, what's next for Blackberry? The firm said that it will spend an additional 50 percent on marketing its new Blackberry 10 operating system and expects its first quarter 2013 earnings to break even. µ


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