As usual around this time, smartphone and tablet maker HTC released its monthly consolidated revenue numbers for the month before. At first look, they don’t look too bad, but don’t be fooled.

The Taiwanese company reports sales in March 2013 of NT$15,88 billion (roughly $530 million). Compared to the month before, that’s an admirable increase of nearly 40 percent.

Don’t break out the champagne just yet, though, because February sales were phenomenally bad (NT$11.37 billion or approximately $384 million) and in fact the lowest monthly sales HTC had reported in three full years.

Delivering worse results would have actually been a challenge, and it’s worth noting that HTC was in a far better financial position around this time last year.

Compared to March 2012, HTC’s revenue for last month fell 48.57 percent, the worst YoY drop the company’s seen since October 2012.

Update: And, as Bloomberg points out, HTC posted its lowest quarterly profit (NT$85 million or $2.8 million) on record during the first fiscal quarter of this year, a staggering 98 percent drop compared to the first quarter last year. Revenue for Q1 2013 fell 37 percent year-over-year.

Bloomberg also reports that the company is struggling with delayed shipments of its HTC One smartphone in ‘key markets’.

e3669c36 1451 4768 8bc2 504df9c47135 HTC March revenue up 40% compared to February, still down nearly 50% year over year

Thus, the numbers still paint a bleak picture for HTC, which is struggling to compete against Apple, Samsung and others in the ultra-competitive global smart devices race.

HTC hopes that the upcoming HTC One and ‘Facebook phone’ HTC First will turn things around, but it’s facing an increasingly uphill battle.

HTC’s audited Q1 2013 results will tell us a lot more about just how uphill.

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HTC, Facebook and AT&T reveal the HTC First, coming April 12th for $99, pre-orders begin today