Life Fitness, Hammer Strength sales inch up in 4Q

Positive health club and international sales led to slight gains for Life Fitness and Hammer Strength for the fourth quarter 2012.
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Positive health club and international sales led to slight gains for Life Fitness and Hammer Strength for the fourth quarter 2012.

The fitness equipment brands owned by Brunswick Corp. (NYSE:BC) reported fourth-quarter revenue up 2 percent to $183.6 million. Quarterly operating profits for the brands rose to $36.4 million, versus $28.3 million a year ago.

Company officials said a 7 percent rise international sales, which represent nearly half its fitness business, helped lead the way in addition to growth from domestic health club customers.

While positive, the 2 percent increase for the fitness sector was the weakest of fourth-quarter sales growth areas for Brunswick, which also saw increases in its boat (up 17 percent), marine engine (up 12 percent) and bowling and billiards (up 5 percent) sectors. That being said, the fitness sector performed better that the other sectors on its profit increases and margins.

Overall, Brunswick reported total company sales up 9 percent to $829.8 million in the fourth quarter, along with a quarterly net loss of $16.1 million, mostly due to restructuring, exit and impairment charges as it sold off a couple of its boat and marine brands.

Looking ahead to 2013, “positive health and wellness trends, combined with exciting new products, have positioned our fitness business to deliver excellent results,” officials said in the earnings release.

--David Clucas

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