Shares of BlackBerry rose more than eight per cent on Wednesday after the company announced it has sold one million of its new smartphones to a mystery buyer.

The Waterloo, Ont.-based company said an "established partner" made the purchase, though it cited confidentiality reasons for not revealing the identity.

Shares moved ahead $1.21 to close at $16.04 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

It's the first time the smartphone maker has revealed sales data for its new devices.

Chief executive Thorsten Heins has said the new BlackBerry Z10 touchscreen phone is selling better than the company expected, while Canadian carrier Bell said last month that preorders broke its previous records for BlackBerry presales.

Meanwhile, the U.S. rollout of the device continues, with Verizon Wireless announcing that it will begin stocking the BlackBerry Z10 on March 28, with preorders starting on Thursday.