Harman Reports Lower Q1 Sales

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Stamford, Conn. - Harman International reported lower net sales and a net loss of $9 million in its fiscal first quarter ended Sept. 30.

Harman reported sales of $757 million during the quarter, down 13 percent including currency charges an 10 percent excluding them. The prior year's sales were $869 million in the opening quarter. However compared with the fiscal fourth quarter of last year sales are up 13 percent.

The quarterly net loss of $9 million is in comparison to a $21 million profit in the first fiscal quarter of last year.

Dinesh C. Paliwal, chairman, president and CEO said in a prepared statement, "Our key markets are stabilizing, we are gaining market share, and we posted double-digit sequential sales growth for the quarter - aided in part by various stimulus programs. Despite the continued global economic challenges, I am pleased with the major progress we have made in lowering our cost base while investing heavily in innovation. The $400 million cost savings and operational excellence initiatives that we launched in June 2008 are ahead of target in delivering sustainable benefits."

Consumer net sales for the quarter ended were $84 million, a decrease of 17 percent or 16 percent when adjusted for constant currency compared to the prior year. Sequentially, sales were up 20 percent compared to the previous quarter.  There was an operating loss in the quarter of $1 million compared with an operating profit of $1 million in the prior year.

Harman's consumer division launched a new dealer-focused strategy at IFA Berlin 2009, and received more than $30 million in orders at this event, the company reported. "Our improved focus on new product introductions and targeted marketing is paying off with new wins for the Consumer Division that will improve both its performance and overall brand penetration across our businesses," said Paliwal.

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