Brunswick Corp., Lake Forest, Illinois, reported $235.6 million in first quarter Life Fitness Division sales, an 8 percent increase year-over-year, according to financials released Thursday.
The division’s operating earnings reportedly dropped from $20.1 million to $18.3 million year-over-year. In the company's financial report, Chairman and CEO Mark Schwabero said this decline was due to an “unfavorable impact of changes in sales mix, as well as planned costs associated with capacity expansions, new product introductions and manufacturing transitions."
Life Fitness' international sales increased 11 percent and represented 46 percent of the quarter’s business. Schwabero attributed this growth to success in the Asian-Pacific market. Domestic sales dropped an unspecified amount, “reflecting anticipated declines in Cybex revenues,” Schwabero said, while overall commercial fitness revenue trends remained stable.
"Our Fitness business continues to successfully execute against its integration and transformation plans, which in 2017 include new product introductions, changes to the manufacturing footprint and further cost realignment actions,” Schwabero said. “The benefits from these activities will begin to favorably impact segment growth rates and margin performance in the second half of 2017.”
Also last week, Life Fitness confirmed six salaried positions were cut at its Cybex facility in Owatonna, Minnesota, as part of a larger restructuring effort.
“[W]e announced this week a realignment of our global operations to enhance efficiency, streamline the organization, manage costs and — most importantly — better target resources toward emerging opportunities,” Life Fitness spokeswoman Lauren Platt told Owatonna.com.
Platt said some non-salaried positions in Owatonna will be scaled back to 32-hour workweeks due to a seasonal slowdown. She echoed Schwabero’s statement about expected second-quarter growth, indicating employee hours may be readjusted then.
In February, Life Fitness celebrated the completion of a 150,000-square-foot expansion project at its Cybex facility. The facility produces more than 200 commercial fitness products and, at the time of the expansion, had added 100 new jobs to the Owatonna area.