Johnson Controls has reported net income for its fiscal year 2008 of US$979m and earnings per share from continuing operations of $1.63 on record sales up 10% to $38.1bn.

Segment income, which excludes a previously announced $495m restructuring charge, increased 10% to $2.1bn versus $1.9bn last year.

Excluding the charge, net income totaled $1.4bn, up 8% from $1.3bn in 2007. Earnings per share from continuing operations were $2.33 compared to $2.10

"We achieved a record year with solid profitability despite the unprecedented market challenges and economic volatility," said chairman and chief executive officer Stephen Roell.

"In recognition of the difficult environment, we took pre-emptive action in the fourth fiscal quarter to improve and better align our cost structure with future market conditions. This will improve our long-term profitability and further enhance our competitive advantage."

For the 2008 fourth quarter, the company reported record sales of $9.3bn, an increase of 3% versus $9.0bn last year as a result of higher building efficiency and 'power solutions' (battery) revenues.

Net income was $16m, with earnings per share of $0.03.

Segment income for the 2008 quarter was $605m, down 8% from $660m in 2007. Net income excluding the restructuring charge was $439m, 6% lower than $466m in the prior year. Earnings per share from continuing operations were $0.73 versus $0.78 last year, in-line with the company's forecasts.

As expected, higher commodity costs and costs associated with the Plastech joint venture reduced earnings by $0.09 in the 2008 quarter.

Automotive experience (interior) sales in the quarter were 2% lower at $4.1bn.

North American sales decreased 12%, less than the overall industry vehicle production decrease of 17% due to the incremental revenues associated with the Plastech joint venture.

European sales increased 4%, however, excluding the impact of currency, sales decreased 6%, approximately in line with industry production.

Sales in the Asia/Pacific region increased 8% due to higher volumes in Japan.

Segment income was $147m, down 20% from $183m last year.

Power solutions sales increased 7% in the 2008 quarter to $1.34bn from $1.25bn last year due to higher unit selling prices. Unit volumes were slightly lower due to lower automotive production levels.

Segment income declined to $142m, down 12% from $161m in the 2007 fourth quarter due to higher non-lead commodity costs.

Johnson Controls is forecasting fiscal 2009 earnings per share of $1.95 to $2.10.

For the first quarter, the company said it expects earnings of $0.22 to $0.24 per share, down from $0.39 in the 2008 quarter.

The first quarter forecast reflects expected increases in building and power products income due to higher revenues and operational improvements in both businesses offsetting a loss in the automotive business as a result of sharply lower production in North America and Europe and the costs associated with restructuring.

"The company forecasts that its automotive results will improve sequentially throughout the year as vehicle production stabilises, commodity prices decrease and cost reductions gain momentum," Johnson Controls said.

"While we face uncertainties in 2009, we begin the year in a strong position with record backlogs in our automotive and buildings businesses, global market leadership and our proven ability to improve our cost structure," added Roell.