London's Financial Times reports fitness equipment biz strong

In a Jan. 7 story in London's Financial Times newspaper, the paper paints a bold picture of the fitness equipment industry -- calling it the one sector of engineering that is "booming."
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In a Jan. 7 story in London's Financial Times newspaper, the paper paints a bold picture of the fitness equipment industry -- calling it the one sector of engineering that is "booming." Writer Peter Marsh wrote: "While much of the world engineering industry is in a state of depression, one sector -- fitness equipment -- is booming. And as people return to work after their new year holidays full of resolutions about becoming trimmer,
companies making these machines are gearing up for a busy few months." The paper cites that world sales of fitness equipment has grown approximately 4 percent a year for each of the last five years while other engineering industries struggle. The paper's story goes on to talk about visions, plans and growth for Technogym, Precor and Life Fitness.

Technogym's president and founder Nerio Alessandri told the paper his Italian company -- the only one of the top six that is not U.S.-based, according to the paper – is on course to double its annual sales within five years to Euro 400 million (USD $423 million). The company also has plans for a new administrative center near Bologna.

But sales aren't just increasing in Western markets, but also in Eastern and former Eastern European markets. In fact, some companies are exploring re-locating manufacturing plants there, with Life looking to Hungary. "The new factory could position the company for an assault on consumers in the potentially promising region of eastern Europe," wrote the Financial Times. To find the full story, go to http://search.ft.com/search/article.html?id=030107000853&query=Peter+Marsh&vsc_appId=totalSearch&state=Form

SNEWS View: Any company that hasn't already made inroads into European and Asian markets with at least a minimal office or one representative may already be behind the times.

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