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CEA Stats: Lights Go Back On In Audio

6/03/2004 01:11:00 PM Eastern

Aarlington, V. — A sharp rebound in factory-level audio sales in March and the first-quarter holds out the hope — however naïve — that the industry could post its first annual increase in 2004 after three consecutive years of decline.

March sales jumped 34.7 percent to $695.1 million, helping drive up first-quarter sales by 16.7 percent to $1.627 billion, CEA statistics show. The first-quarter gain was the industry’s first in four years. (See table below.)

Despite the advances, March sales were below their 2001 peak of $766.9 million, and first-quarter sales were below their 1995 peak of $1.85 billion, CEA statistics show.

March’s gain followed single-digit gains in January and February of 8.8 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively.

Here’s how each category fared in March and the first quarter:

Component audio:

March’s industry gains were led by a rebounding component audio business, which grew an astounding 68.9 percent in March to $116 million and by 26.2 percent in the first quarter to $257.7 million following a full-year 2003 decline of 18.4 percent. Despite the gains, first-quarter component sales were below levels posted in every year in the 1990s and 2000s except for 2003.

Portable audio:

Portables sales, including home radios, shot up 47.9 percent in March to $183.3 million and by 37.1 percent in the first quarter to $400.2 million.

Home audio systems:

Sales skyrocketed 42.4 percent in March to $151.5 million, but declines in January and February held back first-quarter growth to 7.4 percent. First-quarter volume was $331.3 million.

Total home audio:

Combined sales of home components and systems rose 52.8 percent in March to $267.5 million and 14.9 percent in the first quarter to $589 million, but first-quarter sales were still below their 1995 peak of $747.7 million.


Aftermarket sales jumped 12.6 percent in March to $244.4 million, helping drive up first-quarter sales by 8.1 percent to a record $637.7 million.

March, Q1 Audio Sales

(Factory level, in millions, 2003)


1st Qtr.


$183.3 (+47.9%)

$400.2 (+37.1%)

Home Components**

$116.0 (+68.9)

$257.7 (+26.2%)

Home Systems***

$151.5 (+42.4%)

$331.3 (+7.4%)

Aftermarket Autosound

$244.4 (+12.6%)

$637.7 (+8.1%)

Total Audio

$695.1 (+34.7%)

$1,626.9 (+16.7%)

Q1 Audio Sales, 1998-2004

(Factory level, in millions)






















* includes home radios.

** Consists of electronic components, speakers

*** Consists of shelf, rack and home-theater-in-a-box electronics/speaker systems.

Source: Consumer Electronics Association, Arlington, Va.

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