Lake Forest, IL — The economy is continuing to affect the profits of Life Fitness as well as its parent company, Brunswick Corp., Lake Forest, IL. Brunswick's fitness segment, comprised of the Life Fitness division that manufactures and sells Life Fitness and Hammer Strength fitness equipment, experienced its second quarter in a row of lower sales. In the first quarter 2009, sales for Life Fitness decreased by 21 percent, coming in at $118.6 million, compared to $149.2 million in first quarter 2008. Fourth quarter 2008 sales had also decreased, coming in at $171.8 million, which was 20 percent lower than fourth quarter 2007.

International sales, which represent 45 percent of the total segment sales in the first quarter, declined by 16 percent on a year-to-year basis. The fitness segment reported operating earnings of $0.3 million, including $1 million of restructuring charges, in first quarter 2009 compared to earnings of $8.1 million in first quarter 2008.

Commercial equipment sales, which account for the largest percentage of Brunswick's fitness segment sales, declined in the quarter as gym and fitness club operators remained cautious about ordering equipment, the company stated in a press release. Sales of consumer exercise equipment experienced a sharper decline year-over-year, reflecting the effects of the weak economy, the company added.

Brunswick's total sales of $734.7 million for the company were down 45 percent compared to $1.35 billion in 2008. The company experienced a net loss of $184.2 million. Brunswick plans to increase its cost-cutting efforts as it expects 2009 cost savings of $240 million, up from its previous estimate of $200 million.