HTC sees Q4 net profit plunge 91 percent

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HTC sees Q4 net profit plunge 91 percent
Taiwan's top smartphone maker HTC said Monday its fourth quarter net profit plunged 91 percent from a year ago, with analysts blaming the drop to stiff competition from Apple and Samsung.

Net profit in the three months to December totalled Tw$1.0 billion ($34.5 million), compared with Tw$10.94 billion recorded in the same period in 2011, while sales declined 41 percent to Tw$60 billion.

While analysts said the firm was hit by the popularity of Apple's iPhone and the Galaxy by Samsung, they argued that its performance was bottoming out and would slowly regain momentum from the from the next three months thanks to the launch of new models.

"For HTC, the worst is over," Mars Hsu of Grand Cathay Pacific told AFP.

HTC last month unveiled Butterfly, its first smartphone featuring a five-inch screen that has a density of 440 pixels per inch and full HD resolution.

"Market reactions have been pretty good," Hsu said, adding that the new gadget is expected to help its sales from the first quarter although pressure from Apple and Samsung as well as Chinese competitors will remain.

HTC sells its own smartphones and also makes handsets for a number of leading US companies, including Google's Nexus One.

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