Taipei--Taiwan-based HTC Corp. (???) said Tuesday that it continued to suffer losses in 2016 amid escalating competition in both the high-end and mid- to low-range segments of the global smartphone market.
At an investor conference, HTC reported NT$10.56 billion (US$341 million) in net loss for 2016, extending its net loss of NT$15.53 billion in the previous year.
HTC's loss per share for 2016 stood at NT$12.81, the second biggest loss in the company's history after its NT$18.79 in 2015.
In the fourth quarter of 2016 alone, HTC posted NT$3.1 billion in net loss with a loss per share of NT$3.77, marking its seventh consecutive quarter of net loss.
Its consolidated sales for the fourth quarter of last year stood at NT$22.2 billion, little changed from the third quarter but higher than the NT$14.8 billion and NT$18.9 billion recorded in the first and second quarters, respectively.
Despite the growing competition in the global market, HTC said, its 2016 sales improved on a quarterly basis, stabilizing in the fourth quarter with the help of the HTC 10 evo, Desire 10 Pro and Desire Lifestyle.
The company said that its virtual reality business with sales of its first VR headset -- the HTC Vive -- starting last April, was still in the early stages and had contributed only a small fraction to its 2016 sales.
It reported a 35.77 percent annual drop in consolidated sales to NT$78.16 billion but said it had managed to cut costs by 34 percent by better managing its internal resources.
Chang Chia-lin (???), president of HTC's smartphone and connected device operations, told investors that he had confidence in the company's new smartphone products.
While the company might report a net loss in the first quarter of this year, it would be smaller because of sales of new HTC models, he said.
In mid-January, HTC unveiled two new models -- the HTC U Ultra and the HTC U Play -- as part of its efforts to stimulate consumers' interest and boost sales.
Sales of the 5.7-inch HTC U Ultra began in Taiwan on Jan. 25 and in Hong Kong and the Middle East this week. The new model is scheduled to hit store shelves in Europe and Southeast Asia next week and in China at the end of this month or in early March.
Chang said the new product is expected to boost HTC's gross margin in the first quarter of the year from the 10.5 percent recorded in the fourth quarter of last year.
The U series has replaced the HTC One as the company's flagship model.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel