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BlackBerry’s bringing in more software and services revenue than ever, but still operating at a loss


BlackBerry Ltd. is still technically losing money, but bringing in more revenue than ever from software and services – and more importantly, its customers are sticking around.

In its latest quarterly results, released Friday, the Waterloo, Ont.-based smartphone-turned-security-and-driving-software icon posted total software and services revenue of $189 million (all figures USD) during the three-month period ending on May 31, 2018, an 18 per cent gain over the same period last year.

(That number, and future numbers cited in this article, is based on U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles [GAAP] – BlackBerry’s non-GAAP software and services revenue was $193 million, a gain of 14 per cent over the same period last year.)

More importantly, 86 per cent of BlackBerry’s software and services revenue (excluding, BlackBerry noted, IP licensing and professional services) came from recurring customers, up from 70 per cent last quarter and an indication that the company’s enterprise clients are pleased with its services.

However, the company continues to operate at a loss, posting a net loss of $65 million for the period which BlackBerry attributed to a $28 million adjustment on debentures, $22 million in acquired intangibles amortization, $18 million in stock compensation, and $4 million in restructuring charges, among other expenses.

“We are off to a solid start in fiscal 2019,” BlackBerry executive chair and CEO John Chen said in a June 22 statement, noting that in addition to the revenue he was especially pleased that BlackBerry’s QNX software was now embedded in more than 120 million automobiles worldwide, double its install base of three years ago.

“We are very excited about the opportunities ahead of us in automobiles and in other EoT [Enterprise of Things] verticals,” Chen said.

Overall, BlackBerry’s total revenue for the period, cited as the first quarter of fiscal 2019, was $213 million. The company expects total software and services revenue growth to continue, with overall growth of between eight and 10 per cent from 2018 to 2019.

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