Garmin announced a sharp 37 percent decline in net income to $132 million for the fourth quarter of its financial year, ended Dec. 26. The quarterly gross margin fell marginally by 0.7 percentage points to 52.9 percent.
The fitness segment saw a 51 percent gross margin decrease as a result of holiday promotions as well as competitive dynamics across product categories and product mix within the quarter.
Revenues attributable to its fitness and outdoor segments surged in the same period, at 14 percent and six percent respectively, but the company's total revenues declined by three percent for the quarter, evidently offset by a double-digit fall in revenues from the auto segment.
Garmin's outdoor segment comprises products designed for use in outdoor activities, namely outdoor handheld devices, wearable devices, golf devices, dog-focused products and action cameras. Among the products offered in the company's fitness segment are sport watches, cycling computers and power meters and activity tracking devices.
Research and development investments in the last quarter of 2015 were up four percent, with continued focus on active lifestyle products in fitness and outdoor. Garmin also devoted more resources to advertising, up five percent in the quarter, particularly in the fitness and outdoor segments to support wearables.
For the full financial year, the company's net income was up 25 percent even as revenues shrank by two percent, impacted by a 15 percent slide in revenues from the auto business. Fitness and outdoor segments generated 16 percent higher and one percent lower revenues, respectively.