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Garmin sales rise 3% despite weak demand for portable navigation devices

Garmin Ltd, a leading provider of wireless and other technical equipment, reported higher revenues in the December quarter helped by strong contributions from all major business segments, except the automobile division. The top-line growth translated into a modest gain in net profit.

The company expects to leverage its revamped product portfolio and favorable market conditions to achieve financial targets for the current fiscal year.

Fourth quarter earnings moved up 2% annually to $0.73 per share, while sales rose 3% to $889 million. Pro forma income was $0.79 per share. Both earnings and sales surpassed analysts’ expectations.

The Outdoor, Aviation and Marine segments registered double-digit revenue growth. Hurt by the continuing consumer drift from satellite navigation devices to smartphone apps, sales of the Automobile segment declined 14% during the quarter.

In the whole of fiscal 2017, earnings climbed 36% to $3.68 per share, on the back of a 2% sales growth.

“2017 was our second full year of sales and operating income growth driven by strong sales in our
outdoor, aviation and marine segments,” said Garmin CEO Cliff Pemble.

For fiscal 2018, Garmin targets pro forma earnings of $3.05 per share, on revenues of $3.2 billion. The company expects its 2018 segment sales performance to be in line with last year, when gains in the Marine, Outdoor and Aviation divisions were partially offset by a slump in the auto segment. Sales of the Fitness segment are forecasted to be flat this year.

During the fourth quarter, the board of directors approved payment of the final dividend installment of $0.51 per share on March 30, 2018, to shareholders of record on March 15, 2018.

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