TomTom net profit down 77%, sees drop in sat-nav sales image

TomTom, the Dutch manufacturer of automotive navigation systems said Tuesday fourth quarter net profit dropped 77 percent as demand for its personal navigation devices (PNDs) plummeted.

Net profit fell to 12m euros ($16m; £10m) from 52m euros a year earlier, as the company reported lower sales and took a previously announced charge of 13.9m euros in the quarter.

Consumer sales of its personal navigation devices dropped 40 percent to €242 million in the quarter from the same period a year ago. In 2011, the company says the market for the devices in Europe and North America slumped 29 percent.

“The visibility in our core PND [portable navigation device] markets is limited as there remains great uncertainty about the rate of decline of customer demand for the category in the year ahead,”

TomTom said in a statement, adding that this is exacerbated by an uncertain macro-economic climate in its main markets.

The company also sells real-time traffic services through its internet-connected devices and smartphone apps, mapping data to businesses, as well as navigation units which are built into cars, including various Renault, Fiat and Mazda models.

CEO Harold Goddijn says Tuesday the company is facing “tough market conditions.”

TomTom said in December it was cutting 457 jobs, or about 10 percent of its work force.