December 24, 2010 / 6:42 AM / 9 years ago

TomTom to increase staff, expects more car deals: report

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch navigation device maker TomTom expects more deals with car producers and will increase its workforce by about 14 percent next year as it seeks market share in Asia, its chief executive told a Dutch paper.

A model displays the navigation device 'TOMTOM Go 930 T' during first public day at the CeBIT computer fair in the northern German town of Hanover March 4, 2008. REUTERS/Morris Mac Matzen

Harold Goddijn told daily newspaper De Financieele Telegraaf on Friday the workforce would grow to about 4,000 next year from 3,500 as the company looks to expand in India, China and Brazil as well as growing in eastern Europe.

TomTom shares were up 4.2 percent by 5:30 a.m. EST, while the broader market was flat.

The stock has nearly doubled from its 2010 low on August 31, with investors more optimistic about its strategy of seeking deals with carmakers.

Goddijn said the company will employ an extra 150 people in India, where it expects to be able to easily roll out its European and U.S. business model.

The CEO also said that while protecting TomTom’s software in China was “difficult,” it simply had to have operations there.

The company said in November it had signed new deals for its automotive solutions business, adding it would start supplying hardware to Subaru cars in the United States.

Goddijn told the newspaper the company expected to announce more deals in the coming period.

He reiterated comments from the company that it had no intention of selling mapmaker Tele Atlas which it bought in 2008 for 2.9 billion euros ($3.8 billion), but later struggled to cope with its debt load.

(Reporting by Aaron Gray-Block; Editing by David Cowell and Dan Lalor)

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