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Guess who PC-slaying tablets are killing next? Keyboard biz Logitech

Desktop gumble-maker slumps to $228m loss

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The industry shift to slabs didn't just catch out major PC makers: peripherals builder Logitech also found life hard going, judging by the amount of red ink scrawled over its Q4 2012 financial figures.

The mouse, keyboard and speaker tech purveyor reported operating losses of $37m for Q4 (ended 31 March), including $16m in restructuring charges as well as a $6m goodwill impairment. This compared unfavourably to an operating profit of $24m a year ago.

Turnover also headed in the wrong direction, landing at $469m - some 12 per cent off the pace set by last year's sales figures of $532m.

Logitech's president and CEO, Bracken Darrell, said that aside from EMEA retail business was starting to stabilise.

"In Europe, the combination of the difficult macro-economic environment and the very slow PC market stalled our business in Q4," he claimed in a canned statement .

The consumer unit grew its mice and keyboards divisions by six per cent in Asia and the Americas, bucking the downward PC shipments trends in those regions for the period where unit sales fell 14 per cent.

Momentum for tab related accessories was "strong" he added, including the Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for the iPad mini.

The full extent of Logitech's problems are apparent in full year figures that show net losses of $228m, compared to a profit of $71m a year earlier. Sales dropped to $2.1bn from £$2.3bn.

Darrell says the company has "taken appropriate actions to effect a turnaround" which include narrowing the portfolio areas, restructuring the LifeSize video conferencing division, and prioritising tab kit.

"While the PC market continues to weigh heavy upon parts of our business, and the ongoing economic uncertainty in much of Europe shows no signs of improvement our product portfolio and indications of stabilisation in the Americas and Asia, combined with cost savings … position us for improved profitability," said the CEO. ®

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