Taipei, April 7 (CNA) Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. announced on Monday a worse-than-expected loss in the first quarter, but forecast quarter-on-quarter growth during the April-June period. The company posted a net loss of NT$1.88 billion (US$62.15 million) for the first quarter, or a net loss per share of NT$2.28, HTC said in an e-mailed statement. Unaudited quarterly revenue was NT$33.12 billion, down 22.8 percent from its NT$42.9 billion in sales in the fourth quarter of 2013 and short of the NT$34 billion to NT$36 billion it had projected. If the smartphone maker's results had a positive side, it was that consolidated revenue in March totaled NT$16.22 billion, up 2.16 percent from a year ago and 125.35 percent from the previous month. The improvement was driven in part by the introduction of the the mid-tier HTC Desire 816 in China
in March. The company is also expecting to get a major sales boost from the upgraded flagship phone, the HTC One M8, in the second quarter after its release in late March. The Taoyuan-based company came under heavy pressure last year from its declining share of the high-end smartphone market and its inability to make inroads into faster growing market segments. It posted its first quarterly loss as a publicly listed company in the third quarter of 2013 and recorded its second straight quarterly operating loss in the ensuing quarter. HTC shares rose 3.57 percent Monday in Taipei to close at NT$159.5, better than the 0.14 percent drop in the benchmark Taiwan Stock Exchange index. HTC Chief Financial Officer Chang Chia-lin said in February during an earnings conference call that the first quarter would be the low point for the company, which will then see "sequential increases" in revenue and profits in subsequent quarters. He expected HTC to return to profitability in the second quarter, when it plans to launch a full range of high-end and mid-tier products at a faster clip than its roll-out schedule last year.
(By James Lee)