RIM announces dismal first quarter fiscal 2013 results

Research In MotionResearch In Motion yesterday announced its Q1 fiscal Year 2013 results. While many had expected poor results, the final numbers proved far worse. RIM reported an operating loss of US$518 million, its first since fiscal year 2004. Revenues for the quarter came in at US$2.8 billion, down 33% from US$4.2 billion in the prior quarter and down 43% from the same quarter a year ago. It still managed to ship 7.8 million BlackBerry smartphones and 260,000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets.

“Our first quarter results reflect the market challenges I have outlined since my appointment as CEO at the end of January. I am not satisfied with these results and continue to work aggressively with all areas of the organization and the Board to implement meaningful changes to address the challenges, including a thoughtful realignment of resources and honing focus within the Company on areas that have the greatest opportunities,” said Thorsten Heins, President and CEO. “Our top priority going forward is the successful launch of our first BlackBerry 10 device, which we now anticipate will occur in the first quarter of calendar 2013. In parallel with the roll out of BlackBerry 10, we are aggressively working with our advisors on our strategic review and are actively evaluating ways to better leverage our assets and build on our strengths, including our growing BlackBerry subscriber base of approximately 78 million, our large enterprise installed base, our unique network architecture and our industry leading security capabilities.”

RIM also announced that it would reduce its workforce by a further 5,000 employees. It has 16,500 employees worldwide today.

In a bid to reduce costs, RIM will also streamline its supply chain by reducing external manufacturing sites from 10 down to three. Celestica earlier this month announced it would no longer manufacture BlackBerry smartphones. It will also outsource parts of the Company’s Global Repair operations.

The future looks grim as well. Aside from BlackBerry 10 being delayed to 2013, RIM also expects to report an operating loss in its fiscal second quarter as well. Subsequent quarters will also be “very challenging for its business.”

On the positive side, RIM’s global subscriber base is still growing. All regions are continuing to gain subscribers except North America. It gave no numbers though. BlackBerry App World now also continues to grow and now has over 89,000 applications available.

The question many will be asking today is: Can Research In Motion survive on its own?

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