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Thursday, March 28, 2013
BlackBerry Posts Profit

BlackBerry on Thursday reported a quarterly profit and said it shipped 1 million of its new Z10 smartphones in the period.

"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," said Thorsten Heins, President and CEO. "With the launch of BlackBerry 10, we have introduced the newest and what we believe to be the most innovative mobile computing platform in the market today. Customers love the device and theuser experience, and our teams and partners are now focused on getting those devices into the hands of BlackBerry consumer and enterprise customers."

Heins added, "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."

Revenue for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 was approximately $2.7 billion, down $49 million or 2% from approximately $2.7 billion in the previous quarter and down 36% from $4.2 billion in the same quarter of fiscal 2012. The revenue breakdown for the quarter was approximately 61% for hardware, 36% for service and3% for software and other revenue. During the quarter, BlackBerry shipped approximately 6 million BlackBerry smartphones and approximately 370,000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets.

BlackBerry said net income in the fourth quarter was $98 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $125 million, or 24 cents a share.

Excluding one-time items, the company reported a profit of 22 cents a share.

However, Blackberry reported a decline in its subscriber base to 76 million from 79 million during the fourth quarter ended March 2.

The company said it would be increasing its marketing investment in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 in support of the global launch of BlackBerry 10. Surpisingly, Blackberry said it would approach break-even financial results in its first quarter, based on a lower cost base, more efficient supply chain and improved hardware margins.

The touchscreen Z10 is key to BlackBerry's revival. Its introduction a month before the end of the quarter received a warm reception in Canada and a few other countries, but last week's U.S. launch was muted.

Blackberry also announced that Mike Lazaridis, having fulfilled the commitment he made to the company's board in January 2012, has decided to retire as Vice Chair and a Director of the company. Lazaridis co-founded BlackBerry nearly 30 years ago and served as a co-CEO of the company until last year when he was elected Vice Chair of Blackberry's board. Lazaridis, who last week announced the launch of his new venture, Quantum Valley Investments, will step down from the BlackBerry Board effective May 1, 2013.

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