The Life Fitness division of Brunswick Corp., Lake Forest, IL, had first quarter 2012 sales of $157.1 million compared to $156.4 million in first quarter 2011, which is less than a 1 percent increase, the company announced today.

In a call with analysts, Brunswick Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dustan E. McCoy said that sales growth for the Life Fitness division, which is comprised of Life Fitness and Hammer Strength, would have been greater in comparison to first quarter 2011 except that the previous year’s first quarter included a large order from one of its customer categories. If that sale had been excluded, Life Fitness’ sales would have increased by 10 percent compared to first quarter 2011.

Operating earnings increased by 1 percent to $23.7 million in the first quarter of 2012, when compared with 2011, as a result of the modest increase in revenues and reduced operating expenses.

International sales, which represented 48 percent of total segment sales in the quarter, decreased by 13 percent. U.S. sales increased by 17 percent.

“Life Fitness’ solid revenue growth in the last two years supports our longer term outlook for this segment,” McCoy said in the call. “When we combine the organization’s outstanding performance with a healthy fitness sector and positive demographic and health care trend, Life Fitness is well positioned to continue to deliver excellent results.”

McCoy attributed much of the division’s performance to the introduction of new products. In 2011, Life Fitness introduced 25 new products. Those products include the LifeCycle GX (a group exercise bike), the Activate Series line of cardio equipment and the Synrgy360, a functional training piece for personal trainers. In addition, McCoy mentioned LifeScape, the first in a series of technical innovations that Life Fitness will roll out to enhance the cardio experience. LifeScape is an interactive, high-definition system that allows users to hike, run and bike ride through famous locations around the world from inside their fitness facility.