Johnson Controls has today reported that net income increased 1% to $120 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2002 (the three months ended 31st December), from $118 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2001. Diluted earnings per share were $1.27 in both periods.

The company also reported a sales increase of 8% and an increase in operating income of 5% over the same period.

Sales for the three months ended December 31, 2001 were $4.8 billion, up from $4.5 billion for the prior year. Operating income for the current quarter increased to $239 million compared with the prior year's $227 million.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James H. Keyes said, ``We are pleased that our first-quarter results were slightly above our plan, especially given a period of such uncertainty. I wish to thank our customers, employees and suppliers for their support and cooperation.''

Automotive Systems Group sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2002 increased 8% over the prior year's $3.4 billion. North American sales of interior systems increased 4% whereas industry light vehicle production is estimated to have declined 3%.

Johnson Controls explained that its increase in market share reflects its penetration of the interiors market combined with its presence on a variety of transplant and domestic automaker vehicles where demand year-over-year was above the industry average.

Also, the company said that in North America, sales of automotive batteries were higher than in the prior year primarily due to shipments to new customers.

Automotive sales in Europe were 23% higher reflecting the inclusion of an electronics business and a battery business that were acquired October 1, 2001.

Excluding the electronics business acquisition, European interiors systems sales were 6% higher, which compares with European industry vehicle production estimated as comparable to the prior year. The increase primarily reflects new seating and interiors programs for the company.

Johnson Controls sales in Asia and South America, which account for less than 10% of total automotive revenues, decreased somewhat due to negative currency effects and lower customer production schedules.

Johnson Controls said that for the full fiscal year of 2002, it continues to anticipate that the Controls Group will achieve sales growth of 8-12% and modest operating margin improvement. The outlook for Automotive Systems Group sales growth also is unchanged at approximately 5%, which reflects new contracts and recently completed acquisitions. Expectations are also unchanged for a decline in automotive operating margin due to lower industry volumes of higher margin programs and the competitive environment.

The company said that it continues to expect its full-year earnings to approach the fiscal 2001 record.