Gentex Posts Record Quarter

    ZEELAND — Gentex Corp. posted record sales and earnings for the fourth quarter and all of 2002 on the back of strong growth in the sales of its popular auto-dimming automotive mirrors.

    Gentex this morning reported fourth-quarter revenues of $107.3 million, up nearly 35 percent from the $79.7 million during the same period a year earlier. Quarterly earnings totaled $24 million, or 32 cents per share, up 42.8 percent from the $16.8 million, or 22 cents per share, recorded in the fourth quarter of 2001.

    Annual revenues grew 27.3 percent for the year, from $310.3 million to $395.2 million. Net income for 2002 was $85.7 million, up 31.5 percent from the $65.2 million in the prior year.

    A strong automotive production year in North America helped to push shipments of Gentex’s Night Vision Safety mirrors up 23 percent in 2002 to a record 8.8 million units, Executive Vice President Garth Deur said.

    Gentex expects to experience further growth in unit shipments of 15 percent to 20 percent in 2003, even as light vehicle production declines in North America and remains flat in Europe, Deur said. He attributed the anticipated growth to the continued product penetration of new vehicles models.

    Revenue growth has also been helped in the past year by the higher sales of mirrors equipped with electronic devices such as compass and temperature displays and LED turn signals and map lights.           

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