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Zebra Technologies' CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Operationally, we made progress on several strategic fronts. We opened new sales offices in China, Russia and Brazil, and the sales resources previously brought on board became more productive.

We accelerated the pace of product introductions with a record 13 new printer products, and 10 hardware and software releases for vacation solutions in 2011. These new products enabled us to broaden our customer base in established and new industries.

We also made excellent progress in building relationships with a broader base of customers in targeted verticals. These achievements have positioned Zebra to deliver increased shareholder value over the long-term.

I would now like to provide an overview of the highlights for the quarter by region. In North America, year-over-year sales increased 9.5%. Steady bookings throughout the period created an underlying foundation of strength for the region. Several large orders further reinforced our performance. Shipments of mobile and desktop printers in particular supported applications for customers in retail and small package delivery.

We were also pleased with the level of orders for our recently introduced QLn wireless mobile printer, including one for government labeling application. This shipment highlights the success of our take share strategy and increased focus on growing our presence in the government sector, which has historically been underserved by Zebra. Customers are responding enthusiastically to the innovative features of the QLn mobile printer, which incorporates a flexible user interface for easy configuration.

Our EMEA region was another source of strength in the fourth quarter with sales up 5% from a year ago to a record $88 million. In an environment with some significant economic challenges, we are particularly pleased with the achievements of our EMEA organization. Eight of 10 sub-regions posted year-over-year gains with notable performance in manufacturing-centric Germany, as well as France and the U.K.

Larger deals included shipments of wireless mobile printers to retail and transportation customers, kiosk printers for banking applications and card printers for government identity cards. It was also a good quarter for sales of labels and ribbon supplies in the region. Supplies and service offer growth in our core business which we will be focusing on in 2012.

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