UPDATE 1-Garmin raises profit forecast after strong third quarter
* Expects 2013 adj earnings/shr $2.40-$2.45 vs prev $2.30-$2.40
* 3rd-qtr adj earnings $0.69/shr vs est $0.59
* Revenue $643.6 mln vs est $628.9 mln (Adds details, background)
Oct 30 (Reuters) - Garmin Ltd raised its earnings forecast for 2013 after reporting better-than-expected quarterly results as it sold more navigation devices used in aircraft and by fitness enthusiasts.
The company said it expects adjusted earnings of $2.40 to $2.45 per share, up from its prior forecast of $2.30 to $2.40.
Garmin has been looking to its fitness and aviation businesses to offset the steep drop in sales in its core automotive/mobile business, which makes hand-held and car-mounted navigation devices.
European rival TomTom, whose fortunes are also closely linked to those of car manufacturers, also raised its 2013 earnings forecast on Wednesday, citing strong demand for new gadgets such as GPS sports watches used by runners and cyclists.
Garmin said there is strong interest from consumers in its new running watches, which goes on sale in the current quarter.
Sales at its fitness business, which makes products such as GPS-enabled watches to count calories and monitor heart beats, rose 25 percent to $81 million.
Sales in its aviation business rose 15 percent to $83.4 million in the third quarter. The unit sells products such as audio panels and collision avoidance systems to aircraft makers including Cessna and Bombardier Inc.
Revenue in the automotive/mobile business that accounts for half the company's sales fell 16 percent to $322.5 million.
Garmin's navigation products use global positioning system technology to wirelessly deliver geographic location data through satellite communications.
The company's Bluechart mobile application is used in Apple Inc's iPads and iPhones.
Garmin's net profit rose to $187.6 million, or 96 cents per share, from $140.3 million, or 72 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company earned 69 cents per share.
Revenue fell 4 percent to $643.6 million.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of 59 cents per share on revenue of $628.9 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Garmin's shares closed at $48.07 on the Nasdaq on Tuesday. (Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan and Neha Alawadhi in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Sriraj Kalluvila)