Life Fitness Is Bright Spot for Brunswick

CHICAGO -- Life Fitness had a 9 percent sales increase in the second quarter despite difficulties in the consumer side of the business, according to earnings released yesterday by Brunswick Corp., owner of Life Fitness.

“Their new products and great efforts by the commercial businesses in Life Fitness were the foundation of this nice growth in sales and earnings,” Dustan McCoy, chairman and CEO of the Chicago-based company, said in a call with analysts yesterday.

Brunswick’s marine division has faced decreased earnings due to a soft market. The company has restructured this division, including the closing of several plants. Restructuring charges were $83.1 million during the quarter, compared with $1.1 million in the second quarter of last year. The restructuring led the company as a whole to lose $6 million in the second quarter compared to a profit of $56.9 million in the same quarter last year.

Second quarter sales for Brunswick declined 2.5 percent to $1.49 billion from $1.52 billion in the same quarter last year.

On a call with analysts, McCoy noted that he expects a loss in the second half of the year for Brunswick but a profit for the full year.

Pete Leemputte, the company’s CFO, noted that the fourth quarter of the year is typically the strong selling season for Life Fitness.

“So the earnings pressure will be more significant through September, absent a need for any further production cuts,” he said.

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