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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 June, 2004, 12:59 GMT 13:59 UK
Blackberry profits as users jump
It may seem fiddly, but corporate movers and shakers swear by it
Research In Motion, the Canadian firm that makes the Blackberry handheld phone and e-mail device has reported a fourth straight quarterly profit.

Demand has surged for the gadget that, while less popular than mobile phones, has managed to corner the top end of the wireless communications market.

Profit between January and the end of March was $55m (67m) compared with a loss of $8.2m a year earlier.

The number of Blackberry subscribers jumped to 1.34 million from 270,000.

Onwards and upwards

Research In Motion is predicting that demand will continue to rise this year, especially in Europe.

Co-chief executive Jim Balsillie told Reuters that he is "very bullish on Europe".

Sales in the first quarter totalled $269.6m, more than double the figure a year earlier.

The company expects revenues of between $290m and $310m in the second quarter - between April and June - rising to as much as $360m in the third.

"They are very good numbers," said Barry Richards, an analyst at Toronto's Paradigm Capital. He added that the third quarter "was well beyond what anyone was forecasting, so I'd be looking for the stock to be moving higher again".


Earnings would have been better had Research In Motion not put aside $15.6m as part of provisions relating to its patent battle with NTP, a firm owned by engineer John Campana.

Research in Motion is appealing against an injunction that was won by NTP in 2003 and effectively bars it from the key US market.

Under last year's judgement, Research In Motion was ordered to pay $54m in damages to NTP as well as getting barred from the US.

But the injunction is on hold pending some form of settlement.

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