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Taiwan's HTC forecasts profit, doubled sales in Q2

Taiwan's struggling smartphone maker HTC said on Tuesday that it expects to swing to profitability and double its revenues in the three months to June, aided by the good sales of its new flagship cellphone.

TAIPEI: Taiwan's struggling smartphone maker HTC said on Tuesday that it expects to swing to profitability and double its revenues in the three months to June, aided by the good sales of its new flagship cellphone.

HTC posted a net loss of Tw$1.88 billion (US$62.3 million) in the first quarter, while sales hit a five-year low of Tw$33.1 billion.

But the company said it was ready to usher in a brighter picture for the second quarter after what it said was the launch of "our critically acclaimed HTC One (M8)" in March.

"Looking ahead, we are excited about the many new opportunities from the rapid development of TD-LTE in China and LTE in Taiwan. We believe that we are on course for a strong 2014," CEO Peter Chou said in a statement, speaking of a 4G technology.

"We have dramatically improved our operational efficiency and supply chain readiness to ensure immediate availability on the launch day," he said, referring to a major cause of the former flagship handset's worse-than-expected sales last year.

"For the first time, the HTC One (M8) was launched with all four major carriers in the US," he said.

He also said he has high hopes for the mid-tier Desire 816, which has also shown strong momentum in China and India.

Revenue in the second-quarter is forecast at a range of Tw$65 billion-Tw$70 billion, the company said.

But analysts have cautioned against optimism, saying it would be a long way for HTC to regain ground in the market dominated by rivals Samsung and Apple as well as low-cost Chinese rivals like Lenovo and Huawei.

Barclays analyst Dale Gai put HTC's global smartphone market share at an estimated 2 percent last year.

The Taiwanese firm held a 4.6 percent share of the global smartphone market in 2012, sharply down from 8.8 percent a year earlier.

Samsung held a 30.3 percent stake while Apple had 19.1 percent, according to research firm IDC.

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