By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Santa Ana, Calif. — Technology distributor Ingram Micro reported a 4 percent increase in North American sales for the fourth quarter, rising to $3.3 billion, from $3.1 billion in the same three months in 2004. Operating income for North America, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, reached $55.1 million, compared with $37.9 million in the year-ago period. For the year, North American sales hit $12.2 billion, also a 4 percent rise over the previous year's $11.8 billion. Operating income for the 12 months in North America moved up to $157.6 million from a year-on-year $130.3 million. Ingram sales worldwide in the fourth quarter increased 7 percent, reaching $8 billion, compared with $7.5 billion the previous year. Worldwide net income for the three months rose to $84.4 million, including costs, from $79.2 million a year earlier, including $14.2 million in benefits. A strong December and cost containment drove the better-than-expected, fourth-quarter bottom-line results, said Ingram. Gross margin for the quarter came in at 5.6 percent, down slightly from a year earlier. Operating expenses for the fourth quarter were reduced to 3.95 percent of revenue vs. 4.17 percent a year ago. For the 12 months, worldwide sales hit $28.8 billion, up 13 percent from $25.5 in 2004. Net income dropped to $216.9 million, including costs, while income the previous 12 months was $219.9 million, including $58.8 million in benefits.
Tokyo — D&M Holdings, which owns the Denon, Marantz, Boston Acoustics, Escient and ReplayTV brands, among others, reported an 11 percent increase in revenue for its Premium AV segment during its fiscal nine months, reaching $525.3 million, up from $475.1 million in the same period the previous year. Premium AV includes Boston Acoustics, purchased in August 2005. Operating profit for the segment, which includes established brands for the premium home theater, audio-video consumer electronics and networked digital entertainment markets, rose 13 percent, to $24.7 million for the nine months, ended Dec. 31, compared with $21.8 million year-on-year. Revenue in the digital network segment at D&M for the nine months was lower year-over-year, due to the shutdown of D&M's Rio business. Sales were $34.9 million for the period, compared with $106.9 million in the first nine months of 2004. Digital network recorded a $6.7 operating loss in the nine months, compared with an operating loss of $12 million the previous year. Consolidated D&M revenue dropped 3.7 percent in the nine months, due to the Rio shutdown, coming in at $560.2 million, from $582 million in the same period the prior year. Operating income about doubled, to $18.1 million from $9.9 million, due to a solid contribution from Boston Acoustics and improved performance from Escient and ReplayTV.
Plainfield, Ind. — Brightpoint, which distributes globally wireless devices and provides logistic services to the wireless industry, reported fourth-quarter sales of $630.6 million, a 33 percent increase over the $474.1 million recorded in the year-ago period. Net income for the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, hit $8.9 million, up from $7.5 million in the last three months of 2004. Brightpoint, which said it handled 42.1 million wireless devices in 2005, an increase of 57 percent over 2004, reported 12-month revenue of $2.1 billion, a 21 percent climb over the $1.8 billion recorded year-on-year. However, year-end net income slipped to $10.4 million from $13.8 million. Net income in 2005 included a $13.8 million non-cash impairment charge. Fourth-quarter gross margin decreased from 7.1 percent year-over-year, to 6.9 percent, while expenses increased 48 percent from the fourth quarter of 2004, to the same three months in 2005.
Mexico City — Wireless operator America Movil, which owns a U.S. subsidiary called Tracfone, said Tracfone posted fourth-quarter U.S. revenue of $275 million, a 23 percent increase over the same three months the previous year. However, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, was negative, coming in at a loss of $25 million for the three months, compared with $2 million in positive EBITDA for the same quarter in 2004. For the 12 months, Tracfone U.S. revenue jumped 25.7 percent, hitting $990 million, up from $787 million the prior year. EBITDA for the 12 months was $80 million, 66.8 percent above the $48 million recorded in 2004. Prepaid U.S. subscribers rose 39.6 percent in the fourth quarter, to 6.1 million, up from 4.4 million a year ago. The fourth quarter was notably strong, accounting for 58 percent of net additions for the year. Average revenue per subscriber was $14 in the fourth quarter, the same as the previous year's last three months. Churn rose to 4.8 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with 4.4 percent year-on-year. Minutes of use per subscriber were 66 in the fourth quarter, up 9.2 percent from the year-ago 61.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.