TomTom Posts Smaller-Than-Expected Drop in Fourth-Quarter Net

TomTom NV, Europe’s biggest maker of portable navigation devices, posted a less-than-expected 29 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit.

Net income fell to 52 million euros ($71 million) from 73 million euros a year earlier, the Amsterdam-based company said in a statement today. That beat the average estimate of 43.7 million euros in a Bloomberg survey of six analysts.

TomTom, which competes with Garmin Ltd. and Google Inc., aims to get more revenue from maps, services and built-in systems in cars as sales of portable navigation devices, or PNDs, slow. The company also faces increasing competition from smartphones which feature similar services.

“In 2011, we will accelerate the development of the technologies,” Chief Executive Officer Harold Goddijn said in the statement.

TomTom said it sees “broadly flat” revenue and earnings per share this year compared with 2010.

In the fourth quarter, sales fell 3 percent to 516 million euros, beating the 489.75 million-euro average estimate of 12 analysts.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maaike Noordhuis in Amsterdam mnoordhuis@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vidya Root in Paris at vroot@bloomberg.net

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