Gentex Records Best Quarter

April 16, 2003
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ZEELAND — Gentex Corp. began 2003 with its best quarter ever for sales and earnings.

The Zeeland-based maker of automatic-dimming automotive mirrors this morning announced record first-quarter revenues of  $115.3 million, up 29.5 percent from the $89 million during the same period a year earlier.

Net income totaled $25.9 million, or 34 cents per share, up 37 percent from the $18.9 million, or 25 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2002.

The company attributed the record financial performance to strong growth in shipments of its poplar Night Vision Safety mirror and a growing trend by automakers toward the use of electronic features built into mirrors, such as digital compasses, Johnson Controls’ HomeLink system, and turn signal indicators.

“We are very pleased to report continued top- and bottom-line growth in the first quarter,” Gentex Executive Vice President Garth Deur said.

Gentex expects 2003 “to be another good year,” Deur said, although uncertainty remains from the effects of war with Iraq, weaker auto sales and the economy.

Gentex projects mirror shipments to grow this year by 15 percent, even as light vehicle production in North America and Europe declines. The company’s outlook is based on a J.D. Power & Associates forecast for a 6 percent decline in automotive production in 2003.

Mirrors shipments for the first quarter grew 23 percent to 2.53 million units, up from 2.05 million units. The quarter also saw Gentex ship its 50 millionth NVS mirror.    

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