Sales at Garmin Ltd.'s outdoor/fitness segment rebounded nicely in the fourth quarter, growing 43% to $114 million thanks to strong demand for its new Astro dog-tracking products and more sensitive handheld GPS units.

The performance made outdoor/fitness Garmin's second fastest growing and second largest segment for the quarter. For the year, outdoor/fitness sales grew 19% to $340 million, making it the company's second largest, but slowest growing segment.

Strong holiday demand for outdoor/fitness products pushed fourth-quarter sales for the segment up 40% over last year, said Chairman and CEO Dr. Min Kao.

Gross margin and operating margin for the segment increased to 53% and 35%, respectively.

Garmin expects the business to grow 25% in 2008 as it introduces more high-sensitivity GPS receivers, built-in cartography, and better penetration of specific fitness markets.

The maker of GPS devices and other electronics said total revenue rose to $1.22 billion for the quarter, up 99% from $611 million in the same period a year ago. Net income rose by $17.5 million, or 84%, to $38.3 million. The company's automotive/mobile segment continued to drive sales growth, surging 124% in the fourth quarter and accounting for 74% of Garmin's revenues for the entire year.