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CEA: Audio Turnaround Continues In April

Arlington, Va. – The audio industry’s first-quarter momentum held up in April, when a 16.3 percent increase in factory-level sales to $582 million helped drive up year-to-date sales by 16.6 percent to $2.21 billion, CEA statistics show.

Components, aftermarket autosound, and home systems posted strong double-digit percentage gains in April. Portable audio sales, on the other hand, slipped for the first time following seven consecutive months of growth topped by high double-digit percentage gains in each of the first three months of 2004.

Here’s how each audio category performed in April:


Sales continued to quickly scramble back up the cliff in April, when dollar volume expanded 41.9 percent to a four-year high of $86.9 million following an April 2003 decline of 21.2 percent.

Although cumulative 2004 sales rose 29.8 percent to $344.6 million, components failed to set a year-to-date record. In fact, cumulative sales remained below 2002’s level of $351.9 million.

Home systems:

Sales rose for the second consecutive month in April, when a 31.2 percent gain to $144.4 million helped drive up cumulative sales by 13.7 percent to $475.7 million. Despite the sharp gains, the month’s volume fell below April 2002’s $145.3 million, and cumulative sales were below 2002’s $500.5 million.

March and April’s high double-digit percentage gains followed two consecutive low-single-digit drops in January and February.

Total home audio:

Combined sales of components and systems were up 35 percent in April to $231.3 million. Cumulative sales were up 19.9 percent to $820.4 million.

Aftermarket autosound:

Sales rose for the fourth consecutive month in April, when a 19.4 percent gain to $194.9 million contributed to cumulative sales growth of 10.6 percent to an all-time-high of $832.6 million. April’s strong gain offset April 2003’s decline of 18.7 percent in percentage terms, but in dollars, April sales failed to break through April 2002’s $200.9 million.


Sales fell 6.2 percent to $155.7 million, interrupting three consecutive months of double-digit percentage growth that enabled the category to post year-to-date growth of 21.4 percent to $555.9 million.