Garmin's total revenues fell by 2 percent to $2.76 billion in the past year, with a 16 percent drop in the fourth quarter, but the Outdoor and Fitness segments came out better than others for the Swiss-based GPS company. Both segments showed higher operating profits for the year, but not for the quarter.
Sales in the Outdoor segment rose by 11 percent to $401.7 million in 2012, but dropped by 2 percent in the fourth quarter compared with a very strong quarter in the year-ago period. The segment delivered an operating profit of $164.6 million for the year, up from $161.5 million the year before.
Fitness segment sales went up by 8 percent to $321.8 million last year, rising by 10 percent in the fourth quarter, thanks in part to the Forerunner 10 device for runners. Segment income improved for the year to $111.8 million from $102.1 million.
Garmin is expecting strong growth in its Outdoor segment this year with new products for golfers and dogs such as the Approach S2 and the BarkLimiter, and in Fitness with the Garmin Connect Edge 510 and 810 devices for the cycling community.
The Automotive/Mobile segment remained the largest one within the group last year at $1.49 billion, but its sales declined by 6 percent, with a particularly strong drop of 25 percent in the last quarter. The Aviation and Marine segments were also down for the quarter. Revenues decreased in all the regions during the quarter, but they showed growth for the year in Asia-Pacific.
In spite of the lower turnover, Garmin posted better gross and operating margins and ended the year with a net profit of $542.4 million, up from $520.9 million in 2011.