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Harman Consumer Systems Sales Rise

5/16/2003 01:11:00 PM Eastern

Washington - Net sales at the consumer systems group of Harman International Industries climbed 26 percent in the company's fiscal third quarter, hitting $446.5 million, up from $354.6 million in the year-ago period.

Net sales to automotive customers increased 42 percent in the third quarter, ended March 31.

Harman/Becker reported increased sales of infotainment systems to European luxury auto makers Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche and Audi.

In North America, sales of JBL-brand audio systems to Toyota were above the prior year and sales of Mark Levinson digital audio systems to Lexus also exceeded the prior year.

Aided by currency translation, consumer home audio sales were 3 percent higher than last year, but sales and margins were adversely affected throughout Europe as a result of the Iraq war.

"Our audio and infotainment systems continue to be well received by our automotive customers," said Sidney Harman, executive chairman.

The consumer home audio business continues to demonstrate its fundamental strengths during a prolonged period of economic uncertainty, he said.

Harman overall sales for the third quarter hit $554.4 million, a 21 percent increase above the $458.3 million recorded in the year-ago period. Net income more than doubled in the three months, reaching $30.6 million, up from $14.6 million in the same period in 2002.

For the nine months, Harman sales also climbed 21 percent, hitting $1.6 billion, up from $1.3 billion in the same period a year ago.

Net income again more than doubled, coming in at $68 million for the nine months, up from $31.4 million year over year.