Garmin’s Q1 marine revenue down 32 percent

CAYMAN ISLANDS — During the first quarter ended March 28, electronics manufacturer Garmin Ltd. generated revenue of $437 million, down 34 percent from the same quarter in 2008, the company reported in a statement yesterday. Contributing to this decline was a drop in Garmin's marine revenue, which was also down about a third, dropping 32 percent to $38 million.

Min Kao, Garmin's chairman and CEO, acknowledged the marine segment's struggles and said it faces significant challenges in 2009.

"On the marine front, we did see a sequential increase as the marine season approaches, but this seasonal increase was not at a level experienced in the past," he said in the report. "We continue to gain market share as an OEM partner, but these gains are not enough to offset the industry-wide declines."

During the quarter, the company announced a number of marine OEM partnerships, including EdgeWater Power Boats, Fairline Boats and Gulf Craft Inc., which it hopes will strengthen its position in the marine industry.

Other segments of the company also faced losses, with the automotive/mobile segment down 43 percent and aviation down 31 percent. Garmin's outdoor/fitness segment, however, saw its revenue increase 13 percent to $80 million.

The company's earnings were down across all geographic areas, with North American revenue experiencing a 36 percent decline.

The company's earnings per share decreased 64 percent to $0.24, from $0.67 in the first quarter of 2008.

“Our financial results for the first quarter clearly reflect the difficult end markets we are facing but we remain focused on generating improved results from the top line to the bottom line over the remainder of 2009,” said Kevin Rauckman, Garmin's chief financial officer, in the report.

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