Fitness financial: Brunswick’s Life Fitness brand posts increased Q4 sales

While its Life Fitness brand reported an 11 percent rise in fourth-quarter sales, parent company Brunswick (NYSE: BC) posted another quarterly loss, albeit narrower than in the past, as economic uncertainty continued to keep buyers out of marine showrooms -- the company’s core business.
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While its Life Fitness brand reported an 11 percent rise in fourth-quarter sales, parent company Brunswick (NYSE: BC) posted another quarterly loss, albeit narrower than in the past, as economic uncertainty continued to keep buyers out of marine showrooms -- the company’s core business.

The company lost $104.1 million, or $1.17 per share, compared with a loss of $124 million, or $1.40 per share, in the year-ago quarter. Excluding charges for restructuring and other costs, the company said it lost $0.94 per share.

Revenue rose 11 percent to $728.8 million from $657.3 million.

“The factors that positively affected our revenues and earnings in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to the previous year, included higher sales levels in our marine and fitness businesses and lower discounts required to facilitate retail boat sales,” said Dustan McCoy, Brunswick’s chairman and CEO, in a statement.

For the full year, the company lost $110.6 million, or $1.25 per share, compared with a loss of $586.2 million, or $6.63 per share, in 2009. Revenue increased to $3.4 billion from $2.78 billion.

In the company’s fitness segment, which includes Life Fitness and Hammer Strength, fourth-quarter sales totaled $162.0 million, up 11 percent from $146.4 million in the year-ago quarter. International sales, which represented 47 percent of total segment sales in the quarter, decreased by 1 percent. 

For the quarter, the fitness segment reported operating earnings of $24.4 million, which included restructuring charges of $0.1 million. This compares with operating earnings of $20.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2009, which included restructuring charges of $0.5 million.

Domestic commercial and consumer equipment sales increased during the quarter, Brunswick reported. Improved operating earnings in the fourth quarter of 2010, when compared with 2009, reflect higher sales and increased fixed-cost absorption, it added.

Looking ahead, Brunswick expects profit for the overall company between $0.05 and $0.40 per share in 2011, citing a potential for improvements in the boating sector and cost-cutting measures.

--Compiled by Wendy Geister

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