By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Stockholm, Sweden—Electrolux reported the U.S. market for core white-goods over the past nine months ended Sept. 30 showed a volume increase of 4 percent, with a marginal decline in the third quarter. Including room air conditioners, dehumidifiers and microwave ovens, the U.S. market increased by about 6 percent for the nine months and declined about 1 percent in the third quarter. Operating income improved over last year, and the market for floor-care products showed higher volume in the United States for the nine months, although growth slowed in the third quarter. Growth in demand came mainly in the lower-price segments. Sales increased for the U.S. operation, while operating income increased considerably as a result of higher volume and improved productivity.
Fremont, Calif.—Interface device products maker Logitech, which offers Internet video cameras, corded and cordless mice, keyboards, optical trackballs and multimedia speakers, reported consolidated net sales of $190.6 million for the fiscal second quarter ended Sept. 30, a 43 percent hike over the $133. 2 million reported in the year-ago quarter. Net income of $9.4 million was 81 percent higher than the $5.2 million recorded in the same three months last year. Operating income of $12 million more than doubled the $5.8 million reported in the year-ago period. Retail sales, which now represent more than 70 percent of the company's product mix, continued to show strong growth, with a 39 percent year-over-year increase. Logitech's newest optical mice—the iFeel MouseMan and iFeel Mouse—have received an enthusiastic reception from press and industry analysts worldwide, the company said.
Santa Monica, Calif.—Video game maker Activision—enjoying one of its largest game launches, with the shipment of more than 1 million units of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 for the PlayStation2—posted a 25 percent increase in net revenue for the fiscal second quarter ended Sept. 30. Sales hit $144.4 million, compared to $115.4 in the year-ago three months. Operating income climbed 170 percent to $9.5 million for the second quarter, compared to $3.5 million for the same three months in 1999.
Peabody, Mass.—Explosive growth of DVD player sales helped push net sales at Boston Acoustics up 21 percent to $34.6 million for the fiscal second quarter ended Sept. 30, compared to $28.7 million in the year-ago quarter. Net income increased 34 percent to $2.2 million for the second quarter, compared to $1.7 million in the same three months last year. The company expects the trend in DVD player sales to continue, but closer to the rate indicated by its six-month performance to date, since the second-quarter results had the benefit of a beginning $1.2 million back-order and a 14-week quarter. Boston Acoustics said reduced margins due to higher personnel and operational costs associated with catching up should remain about the same in the third quarter.
Lexington, Ky.—Highlighted by growth in printers and associated supplies, Lexmark International reported record third-quarter revenue of $927 million, up 10 percent from the $845 million recorded in the same three months last year. However, operating income was down 15 percent in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, to $98 million, compared to $116 million a year ago. Net earnings were $66 million vs. $77 million, off 14 percent. The company cited the impact of unfavorable foreign currency and lower hardware margins for its profit drops. Gross profit margin for the third quarter was 31.9 percent, compared to 35.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. Printers and associated supplies revenue increased 13 percent, and would have grown 19 percent, without the negative currency impact, said Lexmark.
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.