Despite a 7.6% decline in revenue, to $65.6 million, Franklin Electronic Publishers returned to profitability for the fiscal year ended March 31, posting net income of $2.3 million. In the previous year, Franklin had a net loss of $26.6 million, a figure that included a number of one-time charges.

The company was able to turn a profit despite a weak fourth quarter, company president Barry Lipsky said, when sales fell 29%, to $9.3 million, and Franklin had a $1.9 million net loss. Lipsky attributed the disappointing fourth quarter results to the war in Iraq and bad weather that depressed consumer sales. The strongest performing sector for most of the year was Franklin's U.S. consumer business, which had solid gains through the holiday season before softening in the last quarter. Sales in Europe were soft throughout the year.

Lipsky said he was optimistic about prospects for fiscal 2004. First-quarter sales through late May were on track, and the company is developing a number of new products it will release in this year's fourth quarter. Sales will also benefit from the distribution of Seiko reference products, a function the company took over April 1.