TomTom posts loss amid battle with smartphone satnavs

Satnav maker TomTom today posted heavy losses for last year, at a bad time for the firm as it faces competition from free mobile phone software.
Chief executive Harold Goddijn dismissed the challenge from Nokia and Google, saying TomTom had not felt the impact of smartphone navigation apps.
“The industry we operate in is going through substantial change. Increasingly, digital maps are being deployed in the battle for mobile phone screens. We see limited impact from this on our current revenue streams from PNDs [personal navigation devices], automotive and fleet management,” said Goddijn, who co-founded TomTom in Holland in the early Nineties and led the drive to focus on navigation devices in 2001.
TomTom shares have plunged almost 50 per cent since Google announced it would give away navigation for free.
The firm's revenue fell 15 per cent and net profit 34 per cent last year, excluding the impact from goodwill charges related to its €2.9 billion (£2.5 billion) acquisition of digital map company Tele Atlas.
TomTom had posted double-digit gains until 2008, when it started to post losses. For the fourth quarter it posted a net profit, excluding exceptional items of €75 million.


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