Strong sales of Blackberry devices have helped Smartphone-maker Research in Motion Ltd (RIM) to more than double its first quarter profit and revenue.
The Canadian company earned US$482.5 million for the three months that ended May 31, up from US$223.2 million in the same period last year.
RIM’s revenue increased to US$2.24 billion from US$1.08 billion for the same period.
There was a net gain of 2.3 million BlackBerry subscribers in the quarter, six per cent higher than in the fourth quarter, to bring the total number of subscribers to more than 16 million.
Around 5.4 million new devices were shipped by the company in the first quarter of 2008.
Jim Balsillie, co-chief executive of RIM, said revenue had increased 107 per cent in the quarter, a rise he attributed to the continued popularity of the BlackBerry platform in business, government and consumer segments.
“Our comprehensive technology and business strategies continue to reap strong results in the market, and RIM is well positioned to build on its momentum throughout the remainder of fiscal 2009,” he said.
“As we prepare this summer to ship our 40 millionth BlackBerry smartphone, we continue to steadily scale our business and partnerships to support the opportunities ahead in this thriving sector.”
But despite the buoyant results, financial markets took an unfavourable view of the the company missing analysts’ earnings per share estimates by a penny and giving disappointing guidance for next quarter.
The news sent shares of RIM tumbling in after-hours trading, down 7.61 per cent, to US$ 10.84.
RIM expects its revenue in the second quarter, which ends August 31, to be in the range of US$2.55 billion to US$2.65 billion.
Balsillie said RIM’s strong product portfolio and the continued commitment by carrier partners to promote BlackBerry throughout the summer months, would ensure healthy growth in Q2
The company’s Kickstart flip phone and the BlackBerry Bold, a touch-screen device, are both due for launch in the second quarter.

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