iRobot Net Plummets in First Quarter; Home Robot Business Grows

       

       

BEDFORD, Mass.-Net income for iRobot fell 91 percent in the first quarter ending on March 31, to $653,000.

Reduced revenues, lower margins and upticks in expenses combined to reduce the robot manufacturer’s bottom line. Revenue in the first quarter fell 8 percent to $97.8 million, in spite of a 20 percent leap in sales, both domestically and internationally, in home robots. Among iRobot’s products for the home are the Roomba vacuum robot and the Scooba floor-washing robot. Weak sales in the company’s defense and security unit, which provides robots to the military, offset the pickup in the home business.

Gross margin dropped 611 basis points to finish the quarter at 34.8 percent. Operating expenses rose 3.2 percent in dollars and 368 basis points as a percentage of sales to 34.1 percent.

Colin Angle, iRobot’s chairman and CEO, said he projects continued growth in the company’s home business through the rest of the year, and a turn upward for the defense and security unit in the second half of 2012.