Taiwan's HTC back to profit in Q4

Posted at 01/05/2014 7:21 PM | Updated as of 01/05/2014 7:21 PM

TAIPEI -- Taiwan's leading smartphone maker HTC said Sunday that it had swung to profit in the three months to December after a quarterly net loss, the first since listing in 2002.

The company reported a net profit of T$310 million ($10.3 million) in the fourth quarter despite an operating loss of T$1.56 billion, buoyed by its non-operating income, it said in a statement without giving details.

Analysts say the income was from its decision in September to sell its remaining 24.84 percent stake in US headphone maker Beats Electronics LLC back to the firm for $265 million.

Despite the quarterly profit, the company remained in the red on the operational level.

The company reported a net loss of T$3 billion in the third quarter as it struggled to increase its foothold in the highly competitive smartphone market dominated by rivals Samsung and Apple.

It had a marginal net profit of T$85 million in the first quarter and T$1.25 billion in the second quarter.

HTC launched its latest plus-sized handset One Max in Beijing in October, hoping to cash in on the fast-growing Chinese market, where users are demanding increasingly larger screens.

But its sales have not been lifted by the gadget, which boasts the widest display in the HTC family at 5.9 inches, as well as a fingerprint scanner.

Its revenues in the fourth quarter came in at T$42.89 billion, down from T$47.05 billion seen in the third quarter.

The Taiwanese firm held a 4.6 percent share of the global smartphone market in 2012, sharply down from 8.8 percent a year earlier. Samsung held a 30.3 percent stake while Apple had 19.1 percent, according to research firm IDC.

As part of its efforts to boost sales, HTC has launched a range of mid-tier smartphones as analysts warn of waning demand for high-end gadgets.

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