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Plantronics Posts Higher Q1 Sales, Net Income

Santa Cruz, Calif. — Plantronics reported higher revenue and net income for its fiscal first quarter, ended June 30.

Revenues reported for the quarter were $219.2 million, compared with $206.5 million in the previous year’s first quarter. Net income was $20.5 million for the quarter, compared with $14.9 million for the previous year.

“Our June quarter results reflect strong Bluetooth headset demand primarily as a result of California and Washington adopting hands-free driving laws on July 1, 2008. Enterprise market conditions grew weaker in the U.S. and Europe as the slowdown in the U.S. financial services sector spread to other industries and geographies. Despite the higher mix of lower margin Bluetooth products, a significant improvement in gross margin on our consumer products compensated, resulting in a higher overall company operating margin and an operating profit increase of 25 percent from the same quarter last year,” said Ken Kannappan, president/CEO.

“We are pleased with the better-than-expected retail placements for our soon to be announced Altec Lansing products. Overall, we remain optimistic about our long-term prospects and ability to enhance shareholder value,” stated Kannappan.

Here are the results per business group:

* Audio communications group: First-quarter net revenues of $198.5 million were up 7 percent, compared with $185.6 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenue growth compared with the year-ago quarter was driven by strong demand for Bluetooth headsets of $55.2 million, up 52 percent from the prior year, and gaming and computer products of $9.6 million, up 48 percent from the prior year. Office and contact center revenues were $122.8 million, down 7 percent from the previous year due to continued weakness in North American markets and flat sales in Europe. Operating income increased 0.6 percent to $33.0 million.

* Audio entertainment group, which includes Altec Lansing: First-quarter net revenues of $20.6 million were down 1.4 percent from $20.9 million in the year-ago quarter.  However, these results are not directly comparable as the year ago figures included approximately $1.7 million of PC and gaming headset revenue, which at that time was managed by AEG and sold under the Altec Lansing brand. Responsibility for all PC and gaming headsets, regardless of the brand used, was transferred to the audio communications group, effective July 1 last year. The division’s operating loss was $6 million compared with $10.8 million. While the turnaround of this division remains heavily dependent on a refreshed product portfolio, other steps have been taken in the past year to return the division to profitability, including the consolidation of manufacturing operations, a reduction in headcount and other cost reductions, the company said.

Brands marketed by Plantronics include Altec Lansing, Clarity, Plantronics, Sound Innovation, Volume Logic and AudioIQ.