TomTom CEO positive despite increased GPS competition


AMSTERDAM, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Dutch navigation device maker TomTom (TOM2.AS), facing threats from Google (GOOG.O) and Nokia’s (NOK1V.HE), said it expects to keep high margins on its devices and software, according to an interview published on Tuesday.

TomTom Chief Executive Harold Goddijn, speaking to Dutch daily Telegraaf, said that the device maker was well positioned and that its purchase of mapping software provider Tele Atlas in 2008 for 2.9 billion euros ($4 billion) was starting to pay off.

Margins on hardware are still expected to be at 40 percent, while margins for mapping software licences would be at 50 percent, Goddijn was quoted as saying.

Still, shares in TomTom, which makes portable navigation devices for cars and mapping software for handheld computers, have fallen 57 percent since late October when web search and software company Google said it would introduce similar software for mobile phones, spooking investors.

“Consumers will still want products optimally designed for what they do,” Goddijn was quoted as saying, referring to dedicated navigation devices. (Reuters,Reporting by Reed Stevenson; Editing by David Cowell)