Harman Posts 4th Consecutive Quarterly Profit

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Stamford, Conn. -

Harman International

posted its fourth consecutive quarterly net profit during its 2011 fiscal first quarter following four consecutive quarterly losses, with net income hitting $27 million on a GAAP basis compared to a year-ago $10 million net loss.

Sales for the first quarter ending September rose 12 percent to $837 million, or 19 percent excluding the effects of currency fluctuations, with operating income rising to $43 million compared to a year-ago $4 million loss.

 Automotive OEM sales accounted for 72.5 percent of total sales during the quarter.

 The company's OEM and professional-audio divisions posted operating incomes of $36 million and $25 million, respectively, but the consumer division posted zero operating income compared to a year-ago operating income of $1 million, all on a GAAP basis.

 Consumer division gross profit was up 12 percent to $25 million, or 19 percent on a local-currency basis, with gross margin rising 2.4 percentage points to 28.5 percent on a GAAP basis. SG&A expenses, however, grew to $24 million from $21 million, "primarily due to the new global product development center in Shenzen, China, and brand-marketing activities," the company said.

 Consumer division net sales rose worldwide by 3 percent in the first quarter to $86 million, or by 9 percent when currency fluctuations are excluded.

In the full 2010 fiscal year and fiscal fourth quarter, the consumer division posted sales gains and narrower operating losses. Fourth-quarter sales rose 15 percent to $81 million, and the division's operating loss narrowed to $11 million from $15 million. For the full year, sales rose 5 percent to $373 million, and the operating loss narrowed to $5 million from $49 million.

 Harman's overall first-quarter results mark "four consecutive quarters of year-on-year improvement in both top line and profitability," said Dinesh Paliwal, chairman, president and CEO. The company's "successful STEP Change cost reduction program and emerging markets footprint expansion are yielding both cost advantages and new market opportunities." The company is now "focusing on profitable growth, both organic and through acquisitions," he continued. "After posting triple-digit growth in emerging markets last year, we are adding significant new capacity to meet the rising domestic demand in China and other emerging markets."


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