Net sales at Precor increased in fourth quarter 2010 and for the year, according to financials released earlier this month by Amer Sports, which owns Precor, Woodinville, WA.

For fourth quarter 2010, Precor, which makes up Amer Sports’ fitness segment, had a 1 percent increase in net sales with EUR 59.6 million ($80.5 million) compared to EUR 58.9 million ($79.6 million) in the same period 2009. Seventy percent of the fitness sales came from the Americas, but sales in the Americas decreased by 2 percent in the quarter to EUR 41.6 million ($56.2 million).

For the year, Precor had EUR 204.8 million ($276.7 million) in sales, a 6 percent increase from 2009 when sales were EUR 194.1 million ($262.2 million).

“We’re looking at improving demand to some extent,” Heikki Takala, Amer Sports Oyg president and CEO said about commercial fitness sales during a conference call with analysts earlier this month. “But we did not, for example, in quarter four have any major initiatives or innovation of product news. And, as such, it’s more like business as usual. And once the innovation pipeline hits later on next year, of course, we expect that to continue positively. But, I would say that overall what it brought for us was continuous underlying organic improvement, especially on the profitability side. And that’s where our focus is on [the fitness segment].”

Precor plans to launch a new line of equipment at the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association show next month.

In 2010, commercial business represented 89 percent of Precor’s net sales while consumer sales were 11 percent. Commercial business was up by 2 percent while consumer business fell by 10 percent. Commercial business started to show some early signs of recovery during 2010, according to Amer Sports. During the second half of the year, it was up in all regions. Sales of premium consumer equipment for home use continued to be sluggish.

Amer Sports has made a concentrated effort in research and development, it said when releasing its financials. It now has eight R&D centers globally serving different business areas and collaborating across units. The company invested EUR 57.4 million ($77.6 million) in R&D in 2010, accounting for 8.8 percent of all operating expenses. R&D in the fitness division accounted for 23 percent of the R&D expenditure.

Overall, Amer Sports had 21 percent increase in net sales during fourth quarter 2010 compared to the same period last year. Net sales were EUR 583.4 million ($788.17 million) in fourth quarter 2010 compared to EUR 482.8 million ($652.3 million) in 2009.

All business units are being developed with clear portfolio roles, the company says. Each unit has specific growth and profitability targets with a clearly-assigned role in creating scale and synergy for the company. Most group synergies lie within the Ball Sports, Winter Sports Equipment, Apparel and Footwear businesses which are the focus of the Group’s integration and synergistic development efforts.

The company’s annual meeting will be March 10 at its headquarters in Helsinki, Finland.

(Editor’s Note: Amer Sports reports its financials in euros. The conversions to U.S. dollars were based on the exchange rate as of Feb. 15, 2011.)