Logitech eyes sales increase as quarterly profits drop

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Peripherals giant Logitech has followed up last month's profit warning by reporting lacklustre fourth quarter and full-year results.

Much of the decline has been attributed to weakness in Logitech's retail division in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

However, things are looking up for the company, famed for being the biggest computer mouse maker worldwide. It has predicted a rise in sales this coming year.

Logitech, based in Switzerland and Fremont, California, called the fourth quarter a "disappointing conclusion" to 2010. It said it expected $2.6 billion of sales in the current fiscal year, which ends in March 2012, up from $2.4 billion last year.

Net income fell to $2.8 million, or two cents a share, in the fourth quarter ended on 31 March, compared to $24 million, or 14 cents, a year earlier. The results lagged expectations of four cents in a Reuters poll.

Quarterly sales rose four per cent to $548 million - just higher than Wall Street expectations.

"FY 2011 was a strong year for the company, with sales growth of 20 per cent and operating income nearly doubling, driven by our LifeSize division and our Americas and Asia retail regions," said Gerald Quindlen, Logitech's president and chief executive.

"The disappointing conclusion to FY 2011 - which resulted in lower-than expected full-year sales, operating income and gross margin - was due to weaker than anticipated demand in the second half of Q4 for our products in EMEA. The weakness in demand in EMEA was compounded by poor execution of channel pricing and promotional programmes within the region, which we have begun to remedy."

(Additional reporting by IT PRO)