Sun, Mar 30, 2014 - Page 13 News List

BlackBerry turnaround will take time: CEO


BlackBerry’s campus in Waterloo, Ontario, is pictured in September last year.

Photo: Reuters

BlackBerry Ltd said sales will not grow until the fiscal year that begins in March next year, showing the tough road ahead even after cost-cutting helped the smartphone maker post a smaller quarterly loss than analysts estimated.

“There’s no doubt in my mind the revenue will come — no doubt,” chief executive John Chen told reporters on Friday at a briefing at BlackBerry’s headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario.

“When will that happen? Probably not fiscal year 2015. Probably more like fiscal year 2016, when our yield and margin are stable and our revenue growth kick us into profitability,” he added.

Shares dropped to a two-month low after Chen’s comments, wiping out a gain of as much as 6.5 percent earlier in the day.

Chen took over in November last year, and six weeks later announced a deal with Foxconn Technology Group (富士康科技集團) to outsource production, distribution and some design of BlackBerrys.

The company on Friday reported a loss of US$0.08 a share, excluding one-time charges, which was better than the US$0.57 deficit expected in a Bloomberg survey of analysts. Sales in the fiscal fourth quarter fell 64 percent from a year earlier to US$976 million, the company said in a statement. That compared with the analysts’ average estimate of US$1.11 billion.

While there are signs of progress, Chen has sought to temper expectations that a turnaround will be rapid. He reiterated on Friday that he expects the company to stop losing cash by the end of the fiscal year that ends in March 2015.

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