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HTC now expected to become profitable in the 2nd quarter: executive

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- HTC Corp. (宏達電) on Thursday said that with the host sales of its new line of smartphones, including the Desire 816 and the M8, it is expected to turn profitable in the second quarter.

HTC yesterday held its annual shareholders' meeting in Taipei. HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang (王雪紅) said that she is highly confident about the company's future since the Desire 816 and the M8 have been lauded by consumers worldwide.

HTC Chief Executive Officer Peter Chou (周永明) said that HTC has braced for the big smartphone war with a competitive product-mix, saying that the desired effects will turn up in the following two to three quarters.

HTC Chief Financial Officer Chang Chia-lin (張嘉臨) added that HTC will see its bottom line in black in the second quarter.

HTC also said yesterday that it plans to launch a new product line based on Internet of Things (IoT) technology later this year in a move to create its new growth driver in the cloud computing age.

According to the Central News Agency (CNA), Peter Chou said cloud services are expected to create new value for HTC and help it diversify from being a pure hardware manufacturer.

The Taoyuan-based company has developed a lot of ability in software design, such as the HTC Sense user interface and the Zoe camera feature, and it hopes that these abilities can improve HTC's competitiveness in cloud technology, Chou said.

“IoT is a crucial direction for us, and we have planned a complete strategic roadmap for this segment since last year,” he noted. “We hope that a new product line will appear in the second half of this year and become a key direction for our future.”

IoT is defined by industry observers as a world that links physical objects to virtual data and environments that interact with each other in real time and thus can lead to “smart” manufacturing.

In February, Cher Wang said in an interview with Bloomberg News that her company was set to unveil its first wearable device in time for this year's Christmas shopping season, after years of development.

HTC, once the world's fourth-largest smartphone maker, forecast in early May that it will return to profitability in the second quarter after posting operating losses for three consecutive quarters.

Shares in HTC leveled at NT$133 by the close in Taipei yesterday.

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HTC Corp.'s (宏達電) ranking officers answer questions in a shareholder conference, yesterday. A number of shareholders vented their discontent about the company's recent subpar performance and plunging stock prices. Nevertheless, HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang (王雪紅), third left, expressed her confidence in the company, saying that she is the company's largest shareholder. (CNA)

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