The Swiss company that makes computer mice and other peripherals, Logitech International, has reported its best financial year ever.
The company announced on Wednesday that net income for the fiscal year 2002 (April 2001 - March 2002) was $75 million (SFr123.75 million), an increase of 66 per cent over last year's net income of $45 million.
Logitech, which is based in Romanel-sur-Morges in Switzerland and in Fremont, California, said net income for the fourth quarter doubled, reaching $21.5 million, on sales of $256 million.
The chief executive officer, Guerrino De Luca, said Logitech was "very pleased" with the financial figures, against a backgrund of a declining computer market and weakness of the global economy.
"Fundamentally, we don't sell to people who buy new PCs, only in part. We sell to people that use PCs and so our base is enormous," De Luca told swissinfo.
"That's why we could grow through great products that people want to buy in the cordless, video, game and audio sectors," he added.
"We have emerged stronger than ever in a year marked by significant challenges in global economic and societal conditions," he said.
"We are optimistic as we enter the new fiscal year with new products announced and in the pipeline for consumers at the desktop, in the living room and on-the-go," he added.
Among the products to be introduced in the near future are a novel keyboard which acts as a case for hand-held organisers and a credit card-sized digital camera.
"We believe that the market we address is largely unpenetrated and therefore that the opportunities for us to go deeper into the base of the PC market are enormous, but we are also addressing other platforms beyond the PC," De Luca told swisinfo.
He added that company technology was going to bring more freedom to the user.
"Video is the direction of visual communication. As today people exchange e-mails, tomorrow they will exchange video information about each other," he said.
"In entertainment, we believe that there is an opportunity to develop products that are more realistic so that the experience you have as you play a game is richer," he commented.
Logitech has set its growth targets for the coming year at the higher end of a previously indicated range, saying it now plans to reach $1.1 billion in sales (an increase of 16 per cent over 2002) and operating income of $120 million (an increase of 23 per cent).
Founded in Switzerland in 1981, Logitech designs, manufactures and markets products that provide access to the digital world. They include Internet video cameras, mice and trackballs, keyboards, audio and telephony products, interactive gaming devices and 3D controllers.
by Robert Brookes