Life Fitness had an 11 percent increase in net sales in fourth quarter 2010 and a 9 percent increase in net sales in 2010, compared to the same periods a year ago, according to financials released today by Brunswick Corp., Lake Forest, IL.

Brunswick’s fitness segment is comprised of the Life Fitness Division, which designs, manufactures and sells Life Fitness and Hammer Strength fitness equipment.

Fitness segment sales in fourth quarter 2010 totaled $162 million, up from $146.4 million in fourth quarter 2009. International sales, which represented 47 percent of total segment sales in the quarter, decreased by one percent.

Net sales for 2010 were $541.9 million compared to $496.8 million in 2009.

For the quarter, the Life Fitness Division reported operating earnings of $24.4 million (including restructuring charges of $0.1 million), which compares to $20.5 million (including restructuring charges of $0.5 million) in the year-ago quarter.

For 2010, operating earnings were $59.6 million compared to $33.5 million in 2009.

Domestic commercial and consumer equipment sales increased during the fourth quarter. Improved operating earnings in the fourth quarter of 2010, when compared with 2009, reflect higher sales and increased fixed-cost absorption.

Overall, Brunswick had net sales of $728.8 million in fourth quarter 2010 (up 11 percent from the year-ago quarter) and 2010 net sales of $3.4 billion, an increase of 23 percent versus 2009. Operating loss improved by $113.5 million from fourth quarter 2009 while operating earnings for 2010 improved by $586.8 million from 2009.

Life Fitness also announced that 15-year company veteran Frank van de Ven will assume the role of vice president for the company’s international business unit. He had overseen that unit in an interim capacity since April 2010. Van de Ven has held various positions in the business and marketing side of Life Fitness, including vice president of the company’s Europe, Middle East and Asia region.