BlackBerry posts smaller than expected Q4 loss

However, downbeat revenue and device sales mar the celebrations.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen's attempts to reverse the ailing fortunes of the troubled smartphone maker seem to be paying off, as the firm posted a smaller than expected fourth quarter loss.

The company posted a net Q4 loss of $423 million, which was a major improvement on the previous quarter when the firm found itself in the red to the tune of $4.4 billion.

This epic loss was largely attributed to a $1.6 billion inventory writedown the company was saddled with during Q3, as well as a further $2.7 billion asset impairment charge.  

However, Q4 revenue was down 18 per cent on the previous quarter at $976 million, as the number of BlackBerry devices it recognised hardware revenue on fell.

"During the fourth quarter, the company recognised hardware revenue on approximately 1.3 million BlackBerry smartphones compared to approximately 1.9 million BlackBerry smartphones in the previous quarter," a company statement confirmed.

In total, the company sold around 3.4 million BlackBerry smartphones through to end users of which 2.3 million were BlackBerry 7 devices.

That figure was down on the previous quarter, when the firm shifted 4.3 million devices, and 3.2 million of those featured BlackBerry 7.

BlackBerry chief Chen said in a statement he was happy with the way the firm's Q4 turned out.

"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 our operations, allowing us to reach our expense reduction target one quarter ahead of schedule," he said.

"BlackBerry is on sounder financial footing today with a path to returning to growth and profitability."

Chen was ushered in to replace former BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins last year after a bid to acquire the firm by its largest shareholder Fairfax Financial Holdings fell through.

Since taking over the company reins, Chen has embarked on a number of cost-cutting measures, including selling off company buildings and finding ways to make extra money from its flagship BlackBerry Messenger service.

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