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Harman Moving Headquarters To Conn.

Harman International will consolidate its corporate offices from three locations to one in Stamford, Conn., as well as consolidating its Harman Specialty Group (HSG) facilities during the next several months.

Corporate offices are located in Stamford, as well as in Washington and in Northridge, Calif. CEO Dinesh C. Paliwal established a corporate presence in Stamford when he joined the company in July 2007.

“Although we expect some modest cost savings, the more significant benefit will come from uniting our team in a central location for more effective collaboration,” he said. “This consolidation will help to improve productivity, communications, and response to stakeholders among our senior staff.”

Harman currently has about 30 employees at its Washington headquarters and a smaller number at the Northridge campus, where the company also operates administrative and manufacturing operations that aren’t moving to Stamford.

Dr. Sidney Harman, founder and chairman, will maintain his office in Washington, where he is active in business and philanthropic pursuits, the company added.

HSG, which makes and markets high-performance audio and video components under the Mark Levinson, Revel and Lexicon brands, and will move its electronics R&D gradually from Bedford, Mass. to Harman International’s Northridge, Calif., facilities, joining HSG’s speaker R&D. The group’s order-administration and technical-support functions, as well as marketing- and finance-support functions, will move to the Woodbury, N.Y, site of the Harman Consumer Group, which makes and markets the Harman Kardon, JBL and Infinity brands.

Overall channel management and sales, however, will remain in Massachusetts, although the current Bedford and Billerica facilities will close.

Channel management and sales will remain in the hands of HSG president John P. Batliner, Walter Schofield, Hank Finke, Ed Stadlen and Patrick Gaffney, the group said. Andy Baker will continue management of the Europe, the Middle East and Africa markets from the United Kingdom. Kevin Voecks will continue his role at Revel in Northridge.

Last Tuesday Harman International also reported higher sales but lower net earnings due to portable navigation devices (PND), product mix and higher costs for its second fiscal quarter, ended Dec. 31.

Net sales for the quarter were $1.066 billion, a 14.4 percent increase compared with $932 million for the same period last year. Net income was $43 million for the quarter, down from last year’s $81 million.

Harman reported with the growth in overall net sales due primarily to increased shipments of infotainment systems to automotive customers and higher sales of consumer and professional products to major distributors.

In the Harman consumer division, net sales for the quarter were $184 million, an increase of $21 million, or 12.7 percent, compared with the same period last year. Operating income was $17 million, up $2 million from the previous year’s second quarter.

In the automotive division Harman’s net sales for the quarter were up 15.5 percent to $730 million from the same period one year ago. But operating income was down 60 percent to $36 million compared with last year’s second quarter. The majority of PND sales are recorded in the automotive division. PND sales fell by $29 million compared to the same period last year. — Additional reporting by Steve Smith