The markets have punished Research in Motion (RIM) after the BlackBerry maker announced plans to slash headcount in response to sluggish sales.
RIM's share price plunged 18 per cent in pre-NASDAQ trading today after it scaled back its sales ambitions citing concerns over challenging market conditions and product delays.
Although the vendor shipped 500,000 of its new BlackBerry PlayBook tablets in its fiscal first quarter to 28 May, sales of its core BlackBerry handheld devices came in at a disappointing 13.2 million.
Q1 revenues rose 16 per cent on an annual comparison to $4.9bn, but that figure is well below the $5.6bn registered in the previous quarter. Net profit fell from $769m to $695m year on year.
Jim Balsillie, co-chief executive of RIM, struck a cautious note in RIM's Q1 statement. "Fiscal 2012 has got off to a challenging start," he said.
"The slowdown we saw in the first quarter is continuing into Q2, and delays in new product introductions into the very late part of August is leading to a lower than expected outlook in the second quarter."
RIM also confirmed it will begin a programme to streamline its operations, which will include a headcount reduction.
"This realignment will be focused on taking out redundancies and a reallocation of resources to allow us to focus on the areas that offer the highest growth opportunities and align with RIM strategic objectives, such as accelerating new product introductions," it stated.
The PlayBook was launched locally yesterday, with Insight Enterprises bagging UK exclusivity on the device for the first 60 days.
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