Vancouver, Wa — Nautilus Inc. forged through the first quarter with lower net sales, and a few days after announcing those results, Timothy Joyce, the company's general manager and senior vice president, left.

As general manager, Joyce handled day-to-day operations. Nautilus did not release details about Joyce's departure or his replacement and did not return phone calls for comment.

Net sales for Nautilus Inc. for the first quarter 2009 were $72.1 million, down by 44.4 percent from $129.6 million in the first quarter 2008.

“The first quarter was a tough one for us,” Ed Bramson, Nautilus chairman and CEO, said in a call with analysts after the earnings were released last month.

Nautilus reported a $13.8 million loss from continuing operations for the first quarter. Most of the loss was from the commercial business and from pre-tax restructuring charges of $3.8 million, he said. The commercial side of Nautilus' business had first quarter 2009 sales of $18 million, down 46.5 percent from the $33.7 million in the same period last year.

The commercial business sales were reduced mostly due to the economy and availability of credit to commercial businesses, plus more stringent sales terms by Nautilus, according to Bramson.

Nautilus also reported that it had reduced its net debt from $52.9 million at the end of first quarter 2008 to $100,000 at the end of first quarter 2009.