BlackBerry losses as sales fall

Smartphone maker BlackBerry has reported a heavy quarterly loss as sales of its devices continue to fall.

BlackBerry has been attempting to keep up with the rapidly-growing smartphone market
BlackBerry has been attempting to keep up with the rapidly-growing smartphone market

The Canadian company reported a net loss of 423 million US dollars (£254 million) for the fourth quarter that ended on March 1, compared to a 98 million dollars (£59 million) profit at the same stage last year. Revenue also fell to 976 million (£587 million) from more than two billion dollars (£1.2 billion).

In an attempt to keep up with market leaders Apple and Android, 2013 saw BlackBerry launch their own touchscreen smartphone, the Z10, but it has failed to capture the imagination of the consumer.

In comparison, Apple's last quarterly results, published in January, saw the Cupertino, California-based company make more than 13 billion dollars (£7.8 billion) net profit.

BlackBerry reported that in the last quarter more than three million devices were sold to end customers, however Apple sold 51 million iPhone handsets in their last quarter.

New BlackBerry chief executive John Chen has been attempting to change the direction of the company, with greater emphasis now being placed on the service arm of the brand, setting up large companies with mobile devices on internal networks.

Mr Chen has also looked to focus on the once popular keyboard-based devices that brought huge success to the company before the smartphone boom.

He said: "I am very pleased with our progress and execution in fiscal Q4 against the strategy we laid out three months ago."

"We have significantly streamlined operations, allowing us to reach our expense reduction target one quarter ahead of schedule, BlackBerry is on sounder financial footing today with a path to returning to growth and profitability."

Apple and Google will both announce their latest set of quarterly results next month.