Google's Motorola burden gets bigger: Loss widens to $342M

The Motorola Mobility unit sees its loss widen by 75 percent, although its revenue rose 18 percent over last year.


Google's experiment with the smartphone business continues to be a costly one.

Motorola Mobility, which Google acquired a little more than a year ago, posted a loss of $342 million -- 75 percent wider than its year-earlier hit. Revenue, meanwhile, rose 18 percent year over year to $998 million.

The loss, of course, is a drop in the bucket for a company that posted a second-quarter profit of $3.23 billion.

Motorola is in the midst of changing its direction and turning itself around. The company is widely expected to debut a new family of Droid Ultra smartphones at a Verizon event next week.

The loss, however, may be more directly tied into the investment that Motorola is making in a U.S.-based manufacturing facility intended to build and ship customizable phones. The device, dubbed Moto X, has already made a few public appearances. The Fort Worth, Texas, facility will employ more than 2,000 people and represents a major bet by Google.

Google will reportedly back the effort with a massive campaign worth half a billion dollars.

Google has already trimmed the headcount at Motorola Mobility. The unit employed 4,599 workers as of the end of the second quarter, compared with 9,982 employees in the first quarter.