STAMFORD, CT – Harman International Industries, Incorporated, the leading global audio and infotainment group (NYSE: HAR) today announced that Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (“S&P”) has raised the Company’s corporate credit rating to ‘BB+’ from ‘BB’, with a ‘positive’ outlook. S&P also raised the issue rating on the company's senior unsecured notes to 'BB' from 'BB-'. S&P noted that HARMAN’s corporate credit rating could rise to investment grade within the next year.
In its statement, S&P commented that given the company's sizable backlog of new automotive business to be launched in the next several years, the company will be able to generate double-digit margins and free cash flow in the year ahead despite significant economic uncertainty. S&P added that the company will be able to comfortably manage its $400 million October 2012 debt maturity with cash on hand, improving its liquidity position.
“The S&P upgrade further validates HARMAN’s growth strategy and relentless cost focus that has delivered eight consecutive quarters of top and bottom line growth” said HARMAN Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dinesh C. Paliwal. “The Company’s $14.5 billion order backlog in infotainment and premium branded audio is clear evidence of our technology and market leadership and strong presence in high-growth emerging markets. The flexibility our scalable global footprint and capital structure provides positions us well to ride-out market uncertainties and capitalize on growth opportunities where others may struggle.”
HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets — supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG, Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon and Mark Levinson. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 12,500 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported net sales of $4.0 billion for twelve months ending September 30, 2011. The Company's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR.