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Audiovox Boosts Wireless, CE Sales

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. -Bolstered by sales of nearly 9 million cellphones, Audiovox Communications (ACC), the wireless subsidiary of Audiovox Corp., enjoyed a net sales increase of 55.3 percent to $1.4 billion in fiscal 2000, compared with the $917 million reported in the previous fiscal year.

Total unit sales grew by 46 percent to 8.9 million for the fiscal year ended Nov. 30, compared with 6.1 million units sold in fiscal 1999.

ACC sales consisted of 85 percent digital product, since the company pretty much withdrew from the analog business. This compares with 61 percent in digital units in last year’s comparable period. Average selling prices increased to $151 in the fourth quarter ended Nov. 30, up from $142 in the year-ago quarter, reflecting an increase in digital cellphone sales.

“ACC is now recognized as the top supplier of CDMA [Code Division Multiple Access] products in North America,” said Philip Christopher, president/CEO of the subsidiary. “For 2001, we are excited by the initial response to our second-generation Web-enabled products and the new PDAs. Current orders for our digital products remain strong, and I believe the trend will continue into fiscal 2001.”

Reflecting a demand for mobile video and consumer electronics products, fiscal net sales for the Audiovox Electronics subsidiary were $277.8 million, a 14.6 percent jump over the $242.5 recorded in the comparable 1999 year. During the fourth quarter, the company announced an agreement with Ford to manufacture an OE version of its mobile video overhead console for the Eddie Bauer models of the 2001 Expedition SUV.

Looking to 2001, Audiovox Corp. expects revenue in the range of $355 million to $365 million, and wireless unit sales of about 1.9 million. For the year, the company anticipates revenue in the range of $1.8 billion to $1.9 billion and wireless unit sales of between 10 million and 10.5 million. It is expected that CDMA will represent 88 percent of wireless unit sales during fiscal 2001.

“We expect growth to be slow in the first half of fiscal 2001 as a result of the combination of an unsettled economic outlook and new product introductions,” said Audiovox Corp. president/CEO John J. Shalam.

Net sales for parent Audiovox Corp. climbed 46.8 percent to a record $1.7 billion in fiscal 2000, compared with $1.2 billion the previous year. Net income, including charges, was flat at $27.2 million.

Net sales for the fourth quarter were $510.2 million, a 24.3 percent hike, compared with the $410.5 million registered in fourth-quarter 1999. Net income, including charges, was $5 million, compared with $11.4 million in the year-ago three months.