HTC’s revenue plunges 64% as the struggling firm reports another quarter in the red

HTC is officially struggling once again. The Taiwan-based tech company’s latest financials show its sales dropped a staggering 64 percent over the past year.

Revenue for Q1 2016 came in at NT$14.8 billion ($456 million based on today’s rates), which is down massively on NT$41.5 billion one year previous and also down on NT$25.7 billion in the previous quarter.

Profits have also taken a hit. Prior to today, HTC had posted three consecutive quarters of losses, but the firm did eke out a slim NT$0.36 billion ($11 million) in Q1 2015. This last quarter, however, saw the losses continue with a NT$4.8 billion ($148 million) operating loss, a 17 percent quarter-on-quarter drop.

HTC stopped providing earnings guidance to investors last October having laid off 15 percent of its staff months before in a bid to streamline costs and return to profitability.

Yet, it continues to struggle.

The company is pinning its resurgence on its new flagship phone (the HTC 10) and the Vive, its first virtual reality headset. Neither of these product launches factored into this most recent quarter, but it is hard to imagine that, even when they do, they will be able to transform HTC’s financial situation as is needed.

Yes, the HTC Vive has attracted good reviews — you can read ours here — and the company is pumping $100 million into developing content for VR, but the space is very nascent and it remains to be seen how many consumers will pony up for first-generation VR devices. As for smartphones, the Android market is hugely challenging for OEMs. HTC has a history of producing likable devices which simply don’t sell well. It isn’t clear exactly what it can do to reverse that.

Nonetheless, HTC chairwoman Cher Wang — who took the CEO role last year — was bullish with her sentiments to investors.

“The media and consumer buzz around HTC, including for the keenly-awaited launches of the flagship smartphone and Vive virtual reality system, clearly demonstrate our leadership in innovation and have provided a great boost to the HTC brand,” she said in a statement.

“We have been working hard to lay the groundwork over the past year, streamlining processes and optimizing resources to enable us to develop the best products in the most effective way,” Wang added.

HTC’s financial release (here) is notable pretty devoid of substance and tangible plans. It’s hard to imagine things changing much soon before the next quarterly results.