Previous Statements by HAR
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So with this perspective we started to transform the company and we also recently understood that our customers, particularly automotive car audio customers. They want us to connect the dots from our professional therapies, from our lifestyle therapies, to connect the dots as if they’re one equal system and we must tell the story. We must do some sort of say coordinated marketing campaign, which is built jointly by our customers and Harman. That’s my thought when you asked the question how much money you’re going to spend. I said we can do things very effectively because our customers are going to fetch in big money and they’re going to come up with lots of ideation and we can bring the star power from our pro experience and legacy.So we have started that, and we believe continuing to transform the company, which is based on innovation culture, based on cost culture and based on growth mindset, wherever the growth is coming from. Our world is not limited to few countries. Five years ago, Harman was active. Now, we are going, reaching out to all geographies. We believe we can continue to drive profitable and accelerated growth, and that’s what I think we have shown you in the last eight quarters. Then we’re going to walk you through, Herbert will walk you through the first quarter recap, guidance, he will give you an update of where we are. I think we’ve done a lot of good work here but Herbert will give you detail. And also, he will update you on fiscal ‘13 guidance, and then we’ll open it up for the questions live as well as people, those who are listening over the telephone lines, we’ll take their questions. So this is just a quick update; we put it out every quarter, LTM data, last 12 months. We’re happy that we are back to $4 billion mark. That’s something Herbert and I have been looking for. Let’s get this $4 billion before we start to do some other things. We’re there now and two of the divisions are already double digits EBITDA and percent numbers of sales, and I think we’re well underway even in our Infotainment, which is our largest business where industrial partners’ ability is significantly lower. We have broken away from the pack, we are already profit leaders, but we’re not there yet at all. As we like to say, we have a lot left to do but we know exactly what will it take to get to double digits.
I’m very proud of this because it all starts from the top, the Board. I’ve worked in European Board structure and I’ve worked in the United States, U.S. Board structure. Both play the key role. If you have very active, engaging Board, a diverse Board who bring various matter subject expertise. In our Board I’m very proud to say obviously, we are an American headquarters company. We have great American Board members but we also have a British, Swiss. We have a Chinese on our Board. Actually, one of the four Chinese CEOs who sits on American company Board. We must be something special, and this CEO, Dr. Liu, was 2008 CNBC CEO of the Year for Asia-Pacific, including Japan, India and China. So we’re very grateful to have such Board members and myself, Indian-American origin, and one German, Dr. Einsmann. He is the former CEO of Procter and Gamble.And then if you see to your left the management team, this is a hand-picked management team. I’m pretty selfish because I always say we can only win if we have great team. And I don’t like to lose. Some of you have seen and so did Herbert so we have surrounded ourselves from the best people we could hand-pick, best people, I say, and this team has already shown what we are able to do. So moving on quickly, transformation. While this is more like rearview mirror, I think we’re going to share with you more how we’re going to take the company forward, but it’s always nice to know what we have done so that what momentum we have in our sales. We have taken $434 million cost out. A number of people sitting in this room didn’t believe that we will be able to do that because that was 10% of our sales. It has never been done. I don’t know any company which has taken permanent cost, 10% of sales. Never been done. But we saw the opportunity; we did it. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com