Blackberry’s woes deepen with $5.87bn annual loss

Struggling Canadian device maker Blackberry has reported a $5.87bn loss for fiscal year 2014, which ended March 1st 2014. The loss is over nine times the size of the $646m loss reported in 2013. The firm’s revenue also fell 38 per cent year on year from $11.1bn in FY13 to $6.8bn in FY14.

The firm’s quarter revenue was also down year on year in 4Q14, standing at $976m compared with the $2.68bn generated in 4Q13. The firm also made a net loss in the quarter of $423m compared with a $98m profit in 4Q13. The device maker added that it sold approximately 3.4 million BlackBerry smartphones in the fourth quarter.

“It is difficult to see an upside for Blackberry at the moment,” said Tony Cripps principal analyst at research firm Ovum. “Clearly the firm now has John Chen who has a good track record of bringing companies back to profit but my concern is that the market forces are so much against Blackberry right now that it’s difficult to see how it works its way out of this predicament even with his guidance.”

Last year Blackberry announced a US$1bn investment in the firm by Canadian investment firm Fairfax Financial Holdings in partnership with other institutional investors. CEO Thorsten Heins left the firm as part of the deal.

Former CEO of enterprise mobility software provider Sybase, John Chen, was installed initially as interim CEO but the firm recently announced he would remain at the helm for the foreseeable future. Blackberry also announced restructuring plans last year that will see it cut staff numbers by approximately 4,500 – equivalent to 40 per cent of its global workforce. Then in January 2014, the firm announced that it intends to sell the majority of its real estate in Canada.

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