BlackBerry maker warns of profit fall

SHARES in BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) fell 12 per cent in after hours trading yesterday after it cut its earnings forecast for the current quarter due to heavy investment in its new products.

Ontario-based RIM delivered a $934m (£572m) net profit or $1.78 earnings per share in its fourth-quarter, which ended in February, up 31 per cent from $710m or $1.27 per share a year earlier.

But it said profits in the current quarter, ending in May this year, would fall to $1.47-1.55 per share as it increased its R&D spend on its new PlayBook tablet ahead of its 19 April launch.

Co-chief executive Jim Balsillie said the investment was “laying a strong foundation for RIM’s expanding market opportunity”. But the market viewed it as revealing deep concerns about the performance of its new products as it tries to keep up with powerful rivals Google and Apple, with many fearing it cannot maintain its market-leading position.