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RIM profits jump in Q4

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In a global recession, let them eat smartphones.

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) beat its own earnings forecast today by posting a 84 per cent rise in revenues for its fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 compared to the same period last year.

RIM said it added about 3.9 million BlackBerry subscribers in Q4, raising the total count to about 25 million. The company's fiscal Q4 covers between December 2008 and February 2009.

Revenue in Q4 was $3.46bn, up from $1.88bn in the same quarter last year. RIM said about 83 per cent of the earnings came from devices, 12 per cent from services, two per cent from software, and three per cent for miscellaneous revenue.

The company shipped about 7.8 million devices in Q4 and about 26 million during fiscal 2009.

Revenue for fiscal 2009 was $11.07bn, also up 84 per cent from $6.01bn last year.

Net income for the quarter was $518m, compared to $412.5m in the same quarter in fiscal '08. For the entire year, net profits were $1.89bn, up 46.3 per cent over the previous year.

"RIM experienced an extraordinary year in fiscal 2009, shipping our 50 millionth BlackBerry smartphone and generating $11 billion in revenue," said the company's co-chief Jim Balsillie in a statement.

The company said it expects to earn between $3.3bn and $3.5bn in the first quarter of fiscal 2010, ending May 30, 2009. To compare, RIM's Q1 results in fiscal 2009 were $2.24bn. RIM is also predicting a net gain of subscribers in Q1 2010 of between 3.7 and 3.9 million.

This week, the company announced its BlackBerry App World marketplace as RIM's answer to the popular iTunes App Store. The move also aims to attract more third-party developers into making software for the smartphone. ®

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