BlackBerry chief pledges to stem revenue declines; seeks boost from software business

BlackBerry's turnaround efforts showed signs of bearing fruit in the company's fiscal 2015--the year to end-February--with the company cutting its annual net loss and even generating a slight profit in its fiscal Q4.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen

BlackBerry CEO John Chen

The Canada-headquartered company generated a loss of $304 million (€280 million) in the year to end-February 2015--a fraction of the $5.8 billion loss BlackBerry generated in its fiscal year 2014. Revenues dropped from $6.8 billion in fiscal 2014 to $3.3 billion in the recent financial year. However, the effects of that drop appear to have been offset to a degree by lower operating expenses and a reduction in the cost of sales.

Full-year operating expenses dropped from $7.1 billion in fiscal 2014 to $2.02 billion in fiscal 2015, while the cost of sales fell from $6.8 billion to $1.7 billion respectively.

The picture is similar for BlackBerry's fiscal Q415. The company overturned a net loss of $423 million in fiscal Q414 with a $28 million profit in the recent quarter, thanks in part to a reduction in operating expenses from $1.09 billion in fiscal Q414 to $424 million in the recent quarter. Revenue fell from $976 million to $660 million year-on-year.

BlackBerry's Q415 profit provides a handy bookend to the company's financial year; it also turned a modest $23 million profit in fiscal Q115.

A breakdown of fiscal year 2015 revenue shows services remained BlackBerry's top earner during the year, generating $309 million compared to hardware sales of $274 million and software sales of $67 million. The remainder of full year revenue came from 'other' sources.

Europe, Middle East and Africa remained BlackBerry's top sales territory in fiscal 2015. The company generated $283 million in sales from EMEA, with North America next on $205 million. Asia Pacific was the company's third-largest market, generating sales of $112 million during the year, with Latin America in fourth place on sales of $60 million.

CEO John Chen said he will make stabilising the company's revenue his priority for the coming year, pledging the figure would not dip below $500 million, Bloomberg reported. Indeed, Chen is eyeing acquisitions that will bolster BlackBerry's software business in a bid to grow that division's revenues to $500 million by the close of fiscal 2016--the year to Mar. 1, 2016--the news agency added.

For more:
- see BlackBerry's annual report [PDF]
- read this Bloomberg report

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