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BlackBerry bounces back: Firm posts profit for second successive quarter

Much-maligned smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry has recorded a surprise profit for the second successive quarter, suggesting there is life in the firm yet.

Recent cost-cutting measure implemented by CEO John Chen appear to be working, with the company posting a Non-GAAP profit of $20 million for the fourth quarter of the 2015 fiscal year.

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Although the numbers are modest compared to when BlackBerry led the smartphone market, they do offer some promise of recovery. Mr Chen added that the profit figures provide a stable ground from which to progress.

"Our focus this past year was on getting our financial house in order while creating a multi-year growth strategy and investing in our product portfolio,” he explained. “We now have a very good handle on our margins, and our product roadmaps have been well received. The second half of our turnaround focuses on stabilization of revenue with sustainable profitability and cash generation."

The company’s stability has been partially built on a move towards software and services. While BlackBerry remain as smartphone vendor – the BlackBerry Classic was only released in December 2014 – the company has become increasingly focused on its security tools and pushing BlackBerry Hub onto other platforms.

Although BlackBerry continued to make a profit, its revenue figures fell to $660 million, below analysts’ expectations of $786 million. Chen will be hoping that the firm’s product launches later this year can help stimulate further growth.

Read more: BlackBerry has a new luxury smartphone

At Mobile World Congress earlier this month, the company unveiled two new devices: the all-touchscreen BlackBerry Leap and an as yet unnamed phone which boasted curved edges reminiscent of the Samsung Galaxy S6. Away from hardware, the firm has also announced plans to partner with Google in support of its Android for Work project.

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.