October 30, 2013 / 8:31 AM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 1-TomTom beats forecasts as runners, cyclists snap up GPS gadgets

AMSTERDAM, Oct 30 (Reuters) - TomTom, Europe’s largest maker of navigation devices, beat forecasts for third-quarter profit and raised its 2013 earnings guidance, citing strong demand for new gadgets such as GPS sports watches used by runners and cyclists.

TomTom shares rose more than 5 percent to 6.249 euros, their highest since early 2011.

The company now sees full-year revenue at the top end of the 900 million to 950 million euros range, and expects adjusted earnings per share of around 0.25 euro given that it met its previous forecast of 0.20 euro in the first nine months.

Chief Executive Harold Goddijn said TomTom had started to see better results in European markets such as Germany and the UK where consumer confidence is relatively strong.

“New products have been well received and existing TomTom customers are coming back to upgrade their devices,” he said.

TomTom’s fortunes are closely linked to those of car manufacturers which use its built-in navigation devices, and were hit by weak car sales in Europe for several quarters.

The Dutch company also competes in the market for personal navigation devices, or PNDs, with Garmin and in the commercial digital map market with Google and Nokia .

TomTom said the market for personal navigation devices continued to shrink as users switch to free or cheaper apps, but it has managed to raise average selling prices for its newest models and increase its market share of PNDs in Europe.

It reported quarterly net profit of 11 million euros ($15.2 million), down 49 percent from a year ago, and revenue of 244 million euros, down 11 percent. Analysts in a poll commissioned by Reuters had expected net profit of 6.02 million euros on revenue of 245 million euros.

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