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Audio Sales See Growth In April

Factory-level audio sales rose for the first time this year in April, when double-digit gains in home systems and aftermarket autosound boosted industrywide sales by 7 percent to $579 million, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) reported.

Industrywide sales for the first four months of the year, however, were off 5.6 percent to $2.17 billion, largely because of March’s 17.5 percent decline.

Car audio sales gained 21.5 percent in April to $201 million, a record for the month. For the year-to-date, sales were up 8.8 percent to $783 million despite a 15.7 percent drop in March.

Home-system sales (including shelf, rack, and home-theater-in-a-box systems) also hit a record high, rising 18 percent to $145 million, but cumulative sales were off 6.3 percent to $501 million.

Home component sales fell for the fourth consecutive month, this time by only 1.2 percent to $85 million, a level that puts volume for the month lower than in any year beginning in 1990. Cumulative sales were off 7.4 percent to $381 million.

Total home audio sales (components and systems combined) were up 10.1 percent for the month to $231 million, but down for the year to date by 6.8 percent to $881 million.

Portables (including home radios) suffered their fifth consecutive monthly double-digit decline, falling in April by 11.4 percent to $148 million and falling for the year-to-date by 20.2 percent to $508 million. For the 18-month period ending April, monthly portable sales rose only twice.