Ready for the rebirth of BlackBerry?

BlackBerry has surprised many analysts by posting a profit for the first three months of the year, and expects new smartphone launches, backed by its biggest marketing activity to-date, to claw back market share in 2013.

Rob Orr: managing director of UK & Ireland at Blackberry
Rob Orr: managing director of UK & Ireland at Blackberry

The smartphone maker rebranded from RIM to Blackberry at the start of the year. It reported profits of $98m (£82.9m) last week for the quarter to 2 March. This compares to losses of $125m in the same period last year.

BlackBerry’s return to the black comes despite a 2% fall in sales quarter on quarter, and a 36% drop compared with the same quarter in 2012.

It follows the promising launch of its Z10 touchscreen phone, which has already sold more than one million units, and the Q10, which has a keyboard. Both will be supported by sustained marketing activity expected to increase the telecoms company's global multi-million pound media budget by 50%.

For its full financial year just gone, the handset maker reported a near 40% decline in sales to $11.1bn (£7.3bn), highlighting the amount of ground the company needs to make-up with its new product launches based on its BB10 operating system this year.

Thorsten Heins, president and chief executive of BlackBerry, said: "We have implemented numerous changes at BlackBerry over the past year and those changes have resulted in the company returning to profitability in the fourth quarter.

"With the launch of BlackBerry 10, we have introduced the newest and what we believe to be the most innovative mobile computing platform in the market today.

"Customers love the device and the user experience, and our teams and partners are now focused on getting those devices into the hands of BlackBerry consumer and enterprise customers.

"As we go into our new fiscal year, we are excited with the opportunities for the BlackBerry10 platform, and the commitments we are seeing from our global developers and partners. We are also excited about the new, dynamic culture at BlackBerry, where we are laser-focused on continuing to drive efficiency and improve the company’s profitability while driving innovation."

Rob Orr, managing director of UK & Ireland at BlackBerry, will be the closing keynote speaker at this year’s Media360 conference in London.

On 7 June, Blackberry’s regional leader will detail plans for the one-time market leader to regain some of the marketshare lost to Apple and Samsung in the highly-competitive smartphone sector.

Now in its 10th year, Media360 is the flagship event for Brand Republic Group’s market leading brands, Campaign, Marketing and Media Week. It will be opened by Ed Vaizey, the culture minister, on 6 June.

Both days of Media360 will be chaired by Carat's chief executive, Tracy de Groose, and will feature some of media’s biggest characters, from entrepreneur fire-starter Felix Dennis, to Google's Mark Howe, Mediabrand’s Jim Hytner and MG OMD's Colin Gottlieb to Bauer Radio’s Dee Ford.

Other speakers over the course of the two days include representatives from: AB InBev; Bauer Radio; BSkyB; British Gas; Channel 4; Domino’s; easyJet; Enders Analysis; Google; JCDecaux; KFC; Mediabrands; Mindshare; Mywardrobe.com; News International; Newsworks; Omnicom; Santander; Starcom MediaVest Group; Sky IQ; Thinkbox; Unilever; Virgin Media; Vizeum and Yahoo.

More details of Media360 being held in London on 6-7 June at http://www.media-360.co.uk/ For draft programme details click here.

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