BlackBerry losses narrow as restructuring plan bears fruit

Losses at struggling mobile communications supplier BlackBerry narrowed significantly during the second quarter of its fiscal 2015

Net losses at BlackBerry have narrowed significantly at the end of its second quarter to 30 August 2014, after the firm's recent restructure.

Non-GAAP net losses were $11m, or $0.02 per share, while GAAP net losses narrowed from close to a billion dollars this time last year to $207m, with a non-cash charge of $167m and pre-tax restructuring charges of $33m, accounting for much of the difference.

The figures comfortably surpassed Wall Street’s expectations, leading to a substantial boost to BlackBerry’s stock following its announcement on 26 September.

BlackBerry said it made second-quarter sales of $916m, of which 46% came from hardware sales, 46% from services and 8% from software and other areas. It recognised sales of approximately 2.1 million devices and shipped 2.4 million devices to customers.

On the enterprise side, BlackBerry revealed that its EZ Pass programme has seen a total of 3.4 million licences issued for its secure enterprise service BES10 – up three times on last year, with a quarter of licences traded in from rival providers.

During the same quarter, it bought German secure voice provider Secusmart and, following the end of the quarter, virtual SIM solutions supplier Movirtu.

Though BlackBerry remains in trouble, executive chairman and CEO John Chen hailed a solid quarter in terms of meeting its key operational metrics.

Chen, who took over BlackBerry in November 2013, said he was now confident that BlackBerry would achieve break-even cash flow by the end of its financial year next spring.

“Our workforce restructuring is now complete, and we are focusing on revenue growth with judicious investments to further our leadership position in enterprise mobility and security, driving us towards non-GAAP profitability during FY16,” he said.

Earlier this week, BlackBerry rolled out its new Passport handsets, touting features such as extended battery life, alongside a 4.5in high-resolution screen and its trademark QWERTY keyboard.

With enhanced text-to-speech capabilities and an office assistant application that will read emails aloud to users on the go – as well as the ability for BES10 users to switch between work and personal profiles, BlackBerry is hoping the Passport will capture the attention of more enterprise buyers again.

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