Fitness financials: Brunswick to withdraw NYSE Arca listing, retains NYSE listing, plus Forzani

Fitness financials: Brunswick to withdraw NYSE Arca listing, retains NYSE listing. Forzani Q3 profit up 83.1 percent.

Brunswick to withdraw NYSE Arca listing, retains NYSE listing
Brunswick Corp. (NYSE: BC), parent of Life Fitness, said it plans to voluntarily withdraw the listing of its common stock from NYSE Arca, formerly the Pacific Stock Exchange. The company said its common stock would continue to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

NYSE Group, parent of the New York Stock Exchange, bought electronic exchange Archipelago Holdings, parent of Pacific Stock Exchange at the time, earlier this year. The company said it is withdrawing the listed stock to eliminate repetitive administrative requirements. The withdrawal takes effect within the next month.

The company said it did not believe that withdrawing its listing would have an adverse effect on the liquidity of its stock. NYSE Arca will continue to trade Brunswick common stock on an unlisted trading privilege basis.

Separately, Brunswick said on Dec. 11 that it faces challenges in selling its Brunswick New Technologies unit at or above book value, due to increased competition and price pressure in the portable navigation device market.

The company reported that it still plans to sell the unit, and it expects to take a non-cash impairment charge of $70 million to $95 million, as a result of the increasingly difficult market.

Forzani Q3 profit up 83.1 percent
The Forzani Group Ltd. (TSX: FGL), Canada's largest retailer of sporting goods and owner since February of Canada’s specialty retailer Fitness Source, reported an 83.1 percent increase in third-quarter profits after experiencing robust sales.

The company, whose other banners include Sport Chek, Coast Mountain Sports, Sport Mart and National Sports, said it earned CDN $11.9 million (USD $10.3 million), or 35 Canadian cents a share during the quarter, up from a profit of CDN $6.5 million, or 20 Canadian cents, in the same quarter a year earlier. On average, analysts had expected the company to earn 28 Canadian cents a share.

Total retail sales for the quarter rose 10.4 percent to CDN $339.5 million (USD $295.4 million) from CDN $307.6 million, boosted in part by the recent acquisition of The Fitness Source. Exclusive of the acquisition of Fitness Source, retail system sales increased CDN $27.0 million (USD $23.5 million), or 8.8 percent.

Same store sales in corporate locations were up 6.6 percent and increased 9.9 percent in franchise locations, for an overall same store sales increase of 7.7 percent. This versus a 4.7 percent overall increase in the third quarter of fiscal 2006, continuing the current year trend of strong quarterly, year over year same store sales increases.

Revenue, consisting of corporate store sales, wholesale sales, service income, equipment rentals, franchise fees and franchise royalties, was CDN $346.3 million (USD $301.4 million), up CDN $40.9 million, or 13.4 percent over the comparable period last year.

Gross margin was 34.5 percent of revenue, or CDN $119.4 million (USD $103.9 million), compared with 33.1 percent, or CDN $101.1 million, in the previous year.

Store operating expenses, as a percent of corporate store revenue, were 25.6 percent against the prior year of 26.9 percent. Same-store operating costs were 24.5 percent of corporate store revenue, 25.5 percent in the prior year. Same-store costs, in absolute dollars, increased CDN $1.3 million (USD $1.1 million), or 2.6 percent. The overall store operating expense increase reflects the acquisition of nine Fitness Source stores.

General and administrative expenses were 8.5 percent of total revenue versus the prior year's 7.5 percent. The rate increase, and absolute dollar increase of CDN $6.6 million (USD $5.7 million), was attributable to the addition of the Fitness Source infrastructure and accruals for anticipated, year-end, performance-based compensation.

Earnings before interest, taxes and amortization ("EBITA") were CDN $31.4 million (USD $27.3 million), or 9.1 percent of revenues, compared to CDN $21.7 million, or 7.1 percent of revenues, for the 13-week period last year.

(Conversion of Canadian dollars into U.S. dollars is for information only, is not necessarily relative to earnings, and is based on the currency rate as of Dec. 8.)

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