Exclusive Interview Sales on rise – profits down due to restructuring Harman International’s net sales for the fourth quarter were .182 billion, an increase of eight percent compared to the same period last year, as all three of the Company’s divisions reported sales increases. Net sales increased due to the expansion of recent platform launches in the Infotainment division, growth in home and multimedia products in the Lifestyle Division, and the expansion of the Professional Division’s product portfolio into lighting and stronger professional audio sales. Excluding restructuring and non-recurring charges, fourth quarter non-GAAP operating income was million, compared to million in the same period last year. Due to one-off restructuring costs, on a GAAP basis, fourth quarter operating income was million, compared to million in the same period last year. Dinesh Paliwal Dinesh C. Paliwal is the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of audio and infotainment leader Harman International (NYSE:HAR) whose portfolio of brands includes such names as AKG, Harman/ Kardon, JBL, Infinity, Lexicon and Mark Levinson. Since joining the company in 2007, Dinesh has dramatically strengthened the company’s operations and innovation pipeline, assembled a seasoned leadership team from around the globe, and instituted various initiatives for profitable growth in both established and emerging markets. Prior to joining HARMAN, Dinesh led similar activities as President of global power and automation provider ABB Group. Funkturm Indoor Ground/100 32 A “Sound” Basis for Growth Audio moves further into the future – the short, medium and long-term vision of a global audio guru HARMAN is the parent company behind an array of legendary brands that includes HARMAN Kardon, JBL, Mark Levinson, AKG and Infinity Systems. Harman Chairman, President and CEO Dinesh Paliwal talks to IFA International about the move of audio from analogue to digital and what this is changing. I think the biggest impact of digital media and the Internet is that customers now expect to take their favourite content virtually everywhere they go. HARMAN responded with user-focused solutions that provide easy synchronization of music, videos and more across a broad range of portable players, smartphones, home entertainment systems and even in-car infotainment platforms. HARMAN has also been among the first to really leverage such technologies as wireless networking, Bluetooth connectivity, nearfield communications, and Ethernet AVB. Does the company have any research going on in WEARABLES? We’re very focused on wearables – headphones really being the sweet spot of this market at the moment. A key goal of our development efforts is to enhance the future User Experience, and we recognise that miniaturisation and new user interface techniques will accelerate this trend. We have already demonstrated systems using gesturebased commands, and I expect our research in this area to continue through more subtle interaction methods such technologies as eye movement tracking, ambient interfaces, context awareness, non-verbal cues, and perhaps even implicit sensing of user emotions. The integration of these user interface techniques will yield not only devices that are easier to control, but also systems that “learn” from their environment to continually enhance the user experience. As a company holding a portfolio of brands, are there new emerging brands that might tempt you into an acquisition? If so, what would you be looking for? We have already made some nice additions to our brand portfolio over the past year, including iOnRoad – a market-leading software solution that turns any smartphone into a personal safe-driving assistant, and Martin Professional – a world leader in dynamic lighting and video systems for entertainment and commercial venues. Our approach to acquisitions is to watch for incremental, “bolt-on” technologies that complement our core skills and enable us to deliver a more comprehensive user experience or shorten timeto-market for upcoming developments. What will be your most important product introductions at IFA? What trends do they suggest in the market? As is the case each year at IFA, we will unveil some significant new products for 2014 – including our new JBL Synchros headphone line. Our engineers have designed these headphones using our latest research in psychoacoustics and these headphones will incorporate our latest LiveStage digital processing. New to our home products line-up is the Harman Kardon Esquire wireless speaker and teleconferencing system which melds elegant upscale materials and industrial design with groundbreaking technologies including Harman’s SoundClear echo and noise cancellation circuitry. And for the latest in wireless simplicity and sleek style we are unveiling the Harman Kardon Aura, a single enclosure wireless home audio system. It delivers omni-directional sound along with full wireless compatibility with built-in Bluetooth, Apple Airplay and DLNA audio streaming. These products and over a dozen additional new releases underscore Harman’s focus on the key trends we discussed earlier, including premium sound support for mobile devices and enhanced value added through wireless networking. I am very proud to note that each of these new products was honored with a Red Dot Design Award a few weeks ago – bestowed confidentially by the judges even before these products had been publicly announced. HARMAN’s Lifestyle brands took home Dinesh Paliwal Harman Chairman, President and CEO a record 17 Red Dot honors this year, and nearly 40 similar awards from trade groups spanning Europe, Asia and the United States over the past seven months. What role does IFA play in your connection to the European market? IFA remains a very important element of our marketing activities, not only in Europe but across the world. The upcoming holiday shopping season keeps every manufacturer on its toes, and we always look forward to rolling out some timely new ideas at IFA. The show is also a great opportunity to strengthen relationships with our important channel partners and to celebrate together the growing sophistication of consumer electronics.
IFA Sneak Peek Sneak Peek IFA 2013 Innovations Media Briefing sets the stage for the “big event” Again this year, IFA’s most active exhibitors put on a “pre-show” in Berlin to give the media a foretaste of this year’s coming attractions. While of course most companies will be making their major announcements on the two “media days” before the opening of the show itself, here we can get some ideas of what’s to come. [ by Viktoria Pelles and Stuart Braun ] Part of the strong Smart TV focus at IFA 2013, German high-end electronics maker Loewe is launching a new and revolutionary philosophy for intuitive TV control via the iPad. The Loewe Assist Media app for the iPad lets users view all channels so users can see what’s on now and later, as well as providing up-tothe-minute background information and thumbnails – an app designed to enhance the whole TV viewing/ entertainment experience. Most importantly, the app allows users to create favourites, not only of preferred TV shows, but photos plus online music, video and much more. The app merges seamlessly with Intuitive TV Control the latest Loewe Connect ID range of flat screen smart TVs designed to "reflect the ideas and the personality of its owner". Offered with 12 different colour combinations and 30 unique set-up options, German health and well-being brand Beurer brings “smart” to the healthcare product market with devices such as diagnostic scales and blood pressure monitors that are networked to computers, tablets or smartphones. At this year's IFA Innovation Media Briefing, Beurer was quick to up the ante in a growing market for networked personal health monitoring, pre-launching a new free app called Health Manager that collects and analyses the user’s health data and is accessible from multiple devices. The app is the flagship in Beurer's Connect World series of integrated health and wellbeing products. Data can also be stored in the Cloud via the app, which can consequently be accessed by any Internet-enabled device. "We have decided to combine all USB and Bluetooth-enabled smart devices under one roof and to develop a suitable software," explains Georg Walkenbach, Beurer's Director of Sales and Marketing, about the new Health Manager app. Smartphones, as the most popular mobile Internet device, will be key for accessing and maintaining crucial personal health information. "With the Health Manager app we are taking advantage of these new generation smart TVs feature 2,160 individual design combinations, superior 2D and 3D picture quality and numerous unique apps – plus super slim speakers that sound surprisingly deep via sophisticated resonance chambers. Connect ID's combination of innovation and individual design (ID) is "virtually unrivalled among smart TVs", say Loewe. Connecting Health and Well-Being Loewe Assist Media app the smartphone trend and presenting a mobile solution for the observation of health data," Walkenbach adds. Colouring the Living Room TP Vision is combining smart technology and consumer lifestyle appeal in the new integrated Philips Ambilight+Hue smartphone app that marries with the newly launched 60-inch Elevation TV, its thinnest ever. Compatible with Android and iOS, the Ambilight+Hue app integrates these established technologies for the first time, sequencing warm, colourful 'Hue' bulbs with Ambilight backlight TV moods – built into four sides on the Elevation TV. The Ambilight's effects are thus spread across the entire room (enhanced further when the 1080p set is wall mounted). The Elevation's 3D-capable, Ultra High Definition LCD screen includes smart TV features like Netflix, web browsing and Miracast media sharing. This integrated smart TV technology is presented as central to the latest Philips IFA 2013 Innovations Media Briefing: Power Briefing of TP Vision product 'DNA', with a focus on high-design lifestyle entertainment devices from tablets to headphones aimed at young, mobile media consumers. The fashion-conscious Fedelio mobile wireless speaker range, with Bluetooth connectivity, will be another Philips highlight at IFA 2013. Meanwhile, the Fidelio SoundSphere DesignLine speakers will complement the Philips DesignLine smart TV, combining Philips' talent for high-end design and sound quality. Beurer's Georg Walkenbach – Director of Sales and Marketing – demonstrates latest products at IFA 2013 Innovations Media Briefing www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Monday 2 nd September 2013 33