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Innovation key as mouse giant roars ahead

Logitech has diversified from mice into other computer-related products (Logitech) Logitech

The Swiss computer peripherals company, Logitech, has posted its fifth successive year of record sales and profitability.

Net profit for its fiscal year rose by 32 per cent to $99 million (SFr136.32 million) on sales of $1.1 billion.

At a news conference in Zurich, the company’s chairman and co-founder Daniel Borel said it “felt good” to have broken the one billion dollar revenue mark.

“It took us 22 years to get there. I can only look with pleasure at the last five years. But we’re in a tough market out there,” he told a media and analysts presentation in Zurich on Wednesday.

Logitech, which started life in 1981 in Apples, canton Vaud, producing computer mice for large PC manufacturers, has expanded production over the years to include trackballs, keyboards, desktops, speakers, webcams and headsets.

Although it has its operational base in California, Logitech is a Swiss public company with its headquarters for Europe, Africa and the Middle East at Romanel in western Switzerland.


Logitech CEO Guerrino De Luca said there were a number of reasons why the company had been so successful.

“I believe our ability to create products that people love to use is an important ingredient,” he told swissinfo.

He also pointed to Logitech being a strong global brand with high volume operations and an attractive pricing policy.

“Our products are quite affordable. They sell for less than $100 in most cases so we believe that they don’t break the threshold that we call ‘Check with your spouse’,” De Luca said.

“That means you don’t have to go back home and check with your husband or wife whether you can buy it or not, and that’s very important in very difficult economic times.”

“Mass luxury is a way to call it. It’s a way to indicate that products are for everybody and yet they’re affordable,” he added. “Another example is Starbucks coffee.”

“There’s coffee and there’s Starbucks coffee. There are mice and there are Logitech mice.”


De Luca told swissinfo that Logitech saw growth potential in many areas, including premium speakers, video, cordless products and gaming.

But he said that since the company was in sound financial condition, it had the possibility to complement the growth with an acquisition.

“We will be very selective and there’s nothing happening tomorrow morning. It’s important that you are convinced that it’s difficult to make them work… that’s the only way to make them work,” he said.

Among other products planned this year, Logitech is working on a new desktop – the combination of mouse, keyboard and receiver that frees the desk from cables – that De Luca claims will “stun” the market.

Logitech has indicated that it expects sales for the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2004, to reach some $1.21 billion, with operating income for the year about $142 million

swissinfo, Robert Brookes in Zurich

Logitech said operating income for 2002 rose 27 per cent to $124 million (SFr170 million).
Sales increased 17 per cent to $1.1 billion.
The company has its headquarters in California, but is listed on the Swiss stock exchange.
It was founded in 1981 as a supplier of mice to PC manufacturers, but has since branched out into other computer peripherals.
The company attributed its sustained growth to the launch of new products – such as the cordless mouse – and effective cost management.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR