Brunswick Corp.'s (NYSE: BC) net earnings in the third quarter of 2002 totaled $23.6 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, up significantly from $6.3 million, or 7 cents per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2001. Operating earnings nearly doubled to $47.3 million from $23.9 million on an 11 percent sales gain to $900.0 million. "Life Fitness sales were up double digits in the third quarter with contributions coming from the commercial and consumer segments in both the domestic and international markets. Our commercial sales were especially strong in the regional and local health club channel as well as to the military. Sales also benefited from recently introduced new products that have been well received in the marketplace," George W. Buckley, chairman and CEO of Brunswick, said. Life Fitness and the Brunswick Bowling & Billiards make up the company's recreation segment where sales in the third quarter of 2002 totaled $197.4 million, up 13 percent from $174.1 million in the third quarter of 2001. Operating earnings totaled $9.7 million, compared with an operating loss of $3.5 million in the third quarter of 2001. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2002, the company had net sales of $2,783.9 million, up 5 percent from $2,653.0 million for the first three quarters of 2001. Operating earnings declined to $155.5 million, compared with $184.3 million for the same period a year ago. Earnings before the cumulative effect of accounting changes, discussed below, reached $83.0 million, or 92 cents per diluted share, down from $87.3 million, or 99 cents per diluted share, for the first nine months of 2001.