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Harman Posts 4th Consecutive Quarterly Profit

11/02/2010 10:40:16 AM Eastern

Stamford, Conn. - Harman International posted its fourth
consecutive quarterly net profit during its 2011 fiscal first quarter following
four consecutive quarterly losses, with net income hitting $27 million on a
GAAP basis compared to a year-ago $10 million net loss.

Sales for the first quarter ending
September rose 12 percent to $837 million, or 19 percent excluding the effects
of currency fluctuations, with operating income rising to $43 million compared
to a year-ago $4 million loss.

 Automotive OEM sales accounted for 72.5
percent of total sales during the quarter.

 The company's OEM and professional-audio
divisions posted operating incomes of $36 million and $25 million,
respectively, but the consumer division posted zero operating income compared
to a year-ago operating income of $1 million, all on a GAAP basis.

 Consumer division gross profit was up 12
percent to $25 million, or 19 percent on a local-currency basis, with gross
margin rising 2.4 percentage points to 28.5 percent on a GAAP basis. SG&A
expenses, however, grew to $24 million from $21 million, "primarily due to the
new global product development center in Shenzen, China, and brand-marketing
activities," the company said.

 Consumer division net sales rose worldwide by
3 percent in the first quarter to $86 million, or by 9 percent when currency
fluctuations are excluded.

In the full 2010 fiscal year and fiscal
fourth quarter, the consumer division posted sales gains and narrower operating
losses. Fourth-quarter sales rose 15 percent to $81 million, and the division's
operating loss narrowed to $11 million from $15 million. For the full year,
sales rose 5 percent to $373 million, and the operating loss narrowed to $5
million from $49 million.
 Harman's overall first-quarter results
mark "four consecutive quarters of year-on-year improvement in both top line
and profitability," said Dinesh Paliwal, chairman, president and CEO. The
company's "successful STEP Change cost reduction program and emerging markets
footprint expansion are yielding both cost advantages and new market
opportunities." The company is now "focusing on profitable growth, both organic
and through acquisitions," he continued. "After posting triple-digit growth in
emerging markets last year, we are adding significant new capacity to meet the
rising domestic demand in China and other emerging markets."

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