Garmin reports 4Q, year-end earnings

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Garmin Ltd. reported lower fourth-quarter revenue, but profits climbed 27 percent as rising sales in the company’s marine segment helped offset a revenue decline in the company’s automotive and mobile business.

Garmin said it earned $163.6 million, or 83 cents a diluted share, for the quarter that ended Dec. 28, up from $129.3 million, or 66 cents a share, a year earlier.

Revenue was $759.7 million, compared with $768.6 million a year earlier. The company said its outdoor, fitness, aviation and marine segments delivered 50 percent of total revenue and grew 14 percent from the year-earlier quarter.

Garmin said the marine segment posted a 13 percent sales increase. Aviation sales rose 25 percent, fitness sales rose 14 percent and outdoor segment sales rose 7 percent. The automotive and mobile segment had a 12 percent sales decrease.

The company said its operating margin was 23 percent with 69 percent of its operating profits coming from the outdoor, fitness, aviation and marine segments.

“With strong fourth-quarter revenue growth in outdoor, fitness, aviation and marine, we generated record annual sales in those segments,” Garmin president and CEO Cliff Pemble said in a statement.

“In the fourth quarter, we also achieved operating income growth in all five segments. This success serves as a solid starting point for 2014 and highlights the strength of our diversified product portfolio. We are excited about the future and the numerous new categories Garmin will serve.”

Garmin said it announced a series of new marine products during the quarter, led by DownVü and SideVü scanning sonar, which the company said is an important feature for the fishing market.

For the year, the company said it earned $612.4 million, or $3.12 a diluted share, compared with $542.4 million, or $2.76 a share, in 2012. Revenue was $2.63 billion, compared with $2.72 billion a year earlier, and revenue in the outdoor, fitness, aviation and marine segments grew a combined 9 percent from 2012.

The company said its operating margin was stable at 22 percent, partially driven by a decline in operating expenses.

Garmin said it entered new markets during the year and expanded its offerings in existing markets, allowing for a continued diversification of revenue and profitability sources.

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