Lake Forest, IL — Life Fitness management blamed lower second quarter 2009 sales on a familiar source — the economy. Sales were down 33 percent in the second quarter for the fitness division of Brunswick Corp., according to recently released financial earnings. The Brunswick fitness division manufactures and sells Life Fitness and Hammer Strength fitness equipment.

Commercial equipment sales, which account for the largest percentage of its fitness division sales, declined in the quarter as club operators remained cautious about ordering equipment, the company said. Sales of consumer exercise equipment also were down, although at lower rates than commercial equipment sales.

Fitness division sales totaled $105 million in the second quarter of 2009, down 33 percent from $156.9 million in the same quarter of 2008. The fitness division also reported operating earnings of $0.2 million for the quarter, a decline from operating earnings of $8.2 million posted for the second quarter of 2008.

The second quarter 2009 numbers included $0.2 million of restructuring charges, compared with restructuring charges of $1.3 million in the second quarter of 2008. International sales, which represented 45 percent of total fitness division sales in the second quarter, declined by 40 percent, the company said.

Brunswick Corp., which also owns companies in the boating and billiards industries, posted a net loss of $163.7 million, or $1.85 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2009, compared with a net loss of $6 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2008. Total sales of $718.3 million for the quarter were down 52 percent versus 2008. Cash on hand at quarter's end was $461.2 million, up from the 2008 year-end balance of $317.5 million.

“We continue to successfully manage our operations for cash and maintain excellent levels of liquidity,” Dustan E. McCoy, Brunswick's chairman and CEO, said in a release from the company. “At the end of the second quarter, we had more than $460 million of cash, a $144 million and $102 million increase from year-end and previous quarter levels, respectively.”