Cher tells HTC: If I could turn back time ... if I could find a way (to not lose $250m in a quarter)

Wang prepares to stiff staff

Job cuts coming ... HTC CEO Cher Wang

HTC has warned staff there will be mass layoffs after the biz lost more a quarter of a billion dollars in three months.

For quarter ending June 30, HTC turned $NT33bn (US$1.04bn) in revenues (down 49 per cent year-on-year) into a NT$5.1bn (US$161.1m) loss, thanks to slow sales of its Android mobile devices. China in particular was shying away from its hardware.

After taxes, total losses for the quarter were NT$8bn (US$253m) and the per-share loss was NT$9.7 (US$0.31). In the year-ago quarter, HTC banked a net profit of NT$2.3bn (US$73m).

The Taiwanese gizmo maker said on Thursday it will undertake a series of "company-wide efficiency measures" to cut costs – aka redundancies and sackings.

"While the current market climate is challenging, I firmly believe the measures we are putting in place to streamline our operations, improve efficiency and focus, and increase our momentum will start to show results over the coming quarters," HTC CEO Cher Wang, not to be confused with Believe singer Cher, said in announcing the disappointing Q2 numbers [PDF].

"I am confident that our smartphone phone and connected devices strategy is the right one for HTC, and our corporate initiatives will ensure that we deliver on both our vision and business goals."

HTC's chief financial officer Chialin Chang was more blunt: “The cuts will be across the board. They will be significant.”

Even HTC admits that the losses won't be ending any time soon. The company's forecast for the next quarter predicts more red ink, with per-share losses forecasted at NT$5.85 (US$0.18 cents) to NT$5.51 (US$0.17 cents).

HTC is not the only Android vendor to feel the pinch from a shrinking mobile market. Samsung recently blamed slow handset sales for its sagging revenues and Sony has blamed poor handset sales for its financial woes.

Even Apple has taken a hit in the market with its competing iOS line. Lower-than-expected iPhone sales were cited in a recent investor panic that cost Cook and Co. $113bn in market cap. ®

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