Harman's results beat estimates as car audio sales jump
(Reuters) - Audio equipment maker Harman International Industries Inc (HAR.N) reported quarterly results that beat analysts' estimates, helped by higher demand from luxury carmakers such as Daimler AG, Ferrari and Volkswagen.
A nascent recovery in Europe's automotive industry, Harman's biggest market, is boosting results at the company. Chief Executive Dinesh Paliwal told Reuters in September that "the worst is behind us.
Sales jumped 14 percent to $640 million in the company's biggest business - infotainment. The unit provides integrated navigation, entertainment and communication systems to luxury carmakers.
Both Daimler (DAIGn.DE) and Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) reported strong quarterly results due to demand for their premium brands such as Mercedes, Audi and Porsche.
German carmakers accounted for 34 percent of the Harman's revenue for the year ended June, with rest of Europe bringing in another 19 percent.
Net income fell to $46 million, or 66 cents per share, in the first quarter ended September 30 from $55 million, or 79 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company earned 95 cents per share.
Revenue rose 17 percent to $1.17 billion.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of 86 cents per share on revenue of $1.11 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Harman, known for brands such as JBL and Harman Kardon, recorded restructuring and non-recurring charges of $24 million in the latest reported quarter.
The company said a new cost-reduction program in Germany is expected to yield annual savings of about $25 million from the year beginning July 2014.
Shares of the company, which competes with Bose, Panasonic Corp (6752.T), Sony Corp (6758.T) and Denso Corp (6902.T), closed at $72.02 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)