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TomTom Says Fourth-Quarter Profit Rose 67%

TomTom, the Dutch maker of satellite-based navigation systems for cars, reported sharp increases in fourth-quarter sales and earnings Thursday.

Net profit was 80.4 million euros ($106 million), up 67% from 48.4 million euros a year ago, while sales rose 65% to 478 million euros ($629 million), the company said.

TomTom has grown rapidly in the past five years and estimates it has a 50% share of the European market, but trails behind larger rival Garmin in the United States with just a 20% share.

Last week the Cayman Islands-based Garmin said its earnings more than doubled to $180.3 million (137 million euros).

TomTom's shares fell 0.9% to 32.99 euros ($43.39) in Amsterdam trading. The stock more than doubled after its May 2005 listing at 17.50 euros, but has been held down since then by worries margins will fall as competitors such as Sony enter the market.

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