BERLIN (Reuters) - HTC, the world's fifth-biggest maker of smartphones, sees a strong end to the year as consumer demand for its latest gadgets defies macro-economic worries, a company executive said.
"I am confident on Q3. We see a strong Q4," Florian Seiche, head of HTC business in Europe, Middle East and Africa, told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin.
Seiche said strong demand for its latest smartphone models was continuing, despite macroeconomic worries, longer replacement cycles in some countries, and the business struggles of telecom operators in some markets.
On July 29 HTC gave a better than expected forecast for the third quarter, estimating sales would double from a year ago to 13.5 million phones, while its gross margin would be around 28 percent, down from between 29-30 percent in previous quarters.
HTC's shares have fallen as much as 40 percent from their peak in April when they traded at T$1,300 because of the slowing growth, courtroom fights with Apple over patents and stiff competition.
Analysts say HTC needs new markets to sustain growth and will have to call again on the speed and innovation that turned the once obscure Taiwanese company into a global brand in five years and propelled its market value beyond that of Nokia this year.
(Reporting By Tarmo Virki and Jens Hack; Editing by Greg Mahlich)