Chicago — Cobra Electronics reported improved sales and a reduced net loss for the first quarter, ended March 31, led by an increase in FRS two-way radio sales.
Sales increased 26.6 percent to $32 million compared with sales for the quarter last year of $25.3 million. Cobra’s operating loss was reduced by 39.5 percent to $948,000, compared with a loss of $1.6 million last year.
The company’s net loss, which includes interest on the debt incurred for the acquisition of Performance Products Limited (PPL) in Europe, declined by 36.1 percent, to $720,000 from $1.1 million.
Cobra said two-way radio sales increased by 56 percent, citizens band radio sales increased by 35 percent, and radar detection increased by more than 10 percent for the quarter.
Sales of personal navigation devices (PNDs) declined 33 percent compared with last year as the company’s new NAV ONE 2100 did not ship in the first quarter but is just now heading for stores, said Jim Bazet president and CEO.
Tony Mirabelli, sales & marketing senior VP, said the surge in two-way radio sales reflected increased unit sales and stable average selling prices in the market. He claimed the “the price declines of the past few years are easing.” and that Cobra has been able to gain market share.
CB sales were increased by the release of an all-chrome, limited-edition model.
Cobra said that in two-way radios it replaced a competitor to gain shelf space at Circuit City and that Cobra is increasing its presence at Wal-Mart in radar detectors.
The company also said it is on track to release two new higher-end radar detectors, the XRS-7 and XRS-9G, in the third quarter and a new NAV ONE 5000 PND with a five-inch screen later this year. Mirabelli said, “We’ve received confirmation from several national accounts that the [NAV ONE 5000] will be placed in planograms in the back half of 2007.”
The new NAV ONE 2100 PND that is just now shipping can alert users when they approach a speed camera on a highway or red light camera at an intersection. Bazet said that this will be a differentiating feature for Cobra in the PND market where approximately 150 companies now compete. Cobra said the camera location feature will also help it develop a PND niche in the trucker market.
Bazet said PPL’s results remain below expectations but are expected to improve as the company has resolved a supply problem for its navigation products in Europe.
The company said it forecasts improved performance for the second quarter over the period last year.