Surprise! BlackBerry (almost) posts a profit

BlackBerry has defied expectations – and its own recent history – by posting a quarterly profit. At least, it’s a profit if you ignore one-off costs.

Surprise! BlackBerry (almost) posts a profit

After chalking up losses of $423 million last quarter, the company had been widely expected to post more losses today. Instead, it has reported a profit of $23 million – although once you factor in one-off charges relating to recent restructuring measures, the overall balance comes to a $60 million loss.

Still, even that loss is good news, as it’s less than many analysts had predicted. The improvement in BlackBerry’s fortunes can be largely attributed to CEO John Chen’s cost-cutting efforts, as revenue was down 1% from the previous quarter.

The company also revealed that 39% of its sales this quarter had come from hardware, versus 54% from services. BlackBerry said that 2.6 million smartphones in total had been sold through to end customers, although this included some sales made prior to the quarter starting, likely as part of deals with businesses.

Chen said the results overall showed that BlackBerry was “firmly on track”.

“Over the past six months, we have focused on improving efficiency in all aspects of our operations to drive cost reductions and margin improvement,” he added. “Looking forward, we are focusing on our growth plan to enable our return to profitability.”

BlackBerry is trying to reinvent itself after falling off the top rung of business mobile device makers. Chen has denied that the company plans to ditch its hardware business, but is clearly focusing on extending its software to other platforms, recently releasing Android and iOS versions of its messaging client, BBM.

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