Johnson Controls has reported record net sales and income for its fiscal 2011 fourth quarter.

Net sales rose 19% year on year to $10.8bn, income from business segments was $719m compared with $604m a year ago, net income rose to $538m from $449m and earnings per share of $0.78 compard with $0.66 last year.

"We are pleased to report another quarter of record sales and earnings.  All of our businesses grew at a double-digit pace as they have throughout fiscal 2011. Across the company, we continued to gain significant market share in our industries as a result of our growth investments and unique strategic positioning," said Stephen Roell, Johnson Controls' chairman and CEO.

'Automotive Experience' [interiors] sales in the quarter increased 24% to $5.1bn due to higher global production volumes, incremental volume from recent acquisitions, new model launches and favorable currency impact.   North American revenues increased 7% to $1.9bn from $1.8bn last year, approximately equal to the increase in industry vehicle production levels.  European sales were significantly higher than the 2010 fourth quarter at $2.6bn due to higher production volumes and the impact of acquisitions. Excluding acquisitions, revenue growth in Europe was 26% compared with an industry production increase of 5% led by higher volumes for BMW, Renault/PSA, and Volkswagen.

In Asia, sales increased 15% to $650m from $563m in 2010 due to higher demand in Korea. China revenues, which are mostly generated through unconsolidated joint ventures, rose 20% to $1.1bn, compared to an 8% increased in auto production in the quarter. The company said its automotive joint ventures in China generated more than $4.0bn in revenues in fiscal 2011.

Johnson Controls recently announced that its 2012 - 2014 backlog of net new business increased to $4.2bn, compared with a backlog of $4.0bn for 2011 - 2013.

Segment income totaled $234m in the current quarter, up 81% compared with $129m last year, as a result of the higher volumes and improved profitability in Europe and at its Chinese joint ventures.   European segment income was $74m compared with a loss in the 2010 quarter, while segment income in Asia more than doubled year-over-year.     North America segment income was down 16% due to higher engineering expenses and production launch costs associated with the opening of a new metals component facility.

'Power Solutions' [batteries] sales in the fourth quarter of 2011 increased 19% to $1.6bn from $1.3bn last year, reflecting higher volumes in Europe and Asia as well as higher lead prices, which are passed along to customers.   Excluding the lead impact, sales rose 12% versus the same period last year. Aftermarket unit shipments increased 4%.  Higher global automotive production resulted in a 2% increase in original equipment battery shipments worldwide.

Segment income was $213m, up 17% versus $182m in the fourth quarter of 2010 as a result of the higher volumes, a favorable product mix and the benefits of increased vertical integration.

Full-year results

Sales increased 19% to $40.8bn compared with $34.3bn in 2010. Income from business segments increased to $2.4bn from $1.9bn the prior year.   Net income increased 22% percent to $1.7bn from $1.4bn in 2010.

Outlook

For fiscal 2012 Johnson Controls anticipates a sales increase of 8%, to approximately $44.2bn. The 2012 expectations are the result of modestly higher global automotive production levels, growth across the businesses in emerging markets as well as market share gains. Earnings are forecast to increase to approximately $2.85 - $3.00 per share. Sales, earnings and margin improvements are expected in all three of its business segments in 2012 (the other is building services).

"We are optimistic as we begin fiscal 2012. We have good momentum resulting from the strong backlogs in our automotive and buildings businesses, our market leadership position in new battery technologies and continued growth opportunities in emerging geographic markets," said Roell.

"Our long-term objective is to profitably grow faster than our underlying industries and we will make record levels of investment in 2012 to support that goal. We have the strategies and processes in place to improve our profitability."

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