COTTAGE GROVE, WI -- Johnson Health Tech Inc., manufacturer of Matrix Fitness equipment, enjoyed increases in sales during the first quarter.

North American sales increased by 32 percent, and international sales increased by 28 percent in first quarter 2010 compared to first quarter 2009 for Johnson Health Tech, which also manufactures Vision Fitness, Horizon Fitness and LIVESTRONG equipment. All channels experienced positive growth within the company’s sporting goods and mass market, specialty and commercial divisions, the company said in a statement.

“Much of our domestic growth can be attributed to the overwhelmingly positive response to our new treadmill product line at sporting goods and mass retailers, which had great sell-through in the fourth quarter that led to continued growth in the first quarter,” Chris Clawson, president and CEO of Johnson Health Tech North America (JHTNA), said in a statement.

In the sporting goods and mass channel, JHTNA showed an increase in sales by 58 percent over the previous year. In the commercial channel, Clawson noted that an investment in new console technologies, such as the Virtual Active workout experience, and an expanded Matrix Fitness product portfolio have led to an increase in sales by 36 percent over the corresponding 2009 time period.

The rollout of several new products, including the Johnny G Krankcycle, the T7xe treadmill and the G7 series strength line, in addition to the expansion of JHTNA’s partnership with the Lance Armstrong Foundation to launch the LIVESTRONG by Matrix line are fueling continued growth and optimism into the second quarter, the company says.

”Our international subsidiaries experienced outstanding sales growth in both retail and commercial segments,” Mark Zabel, vice president of global marketing for Johnson Health Tech (JHT), said in a statement. “We believe our aggressive investment in new product development, strategic partnerships, new technology and our global marketing campaign has positioned JHT for continued growth worldwide throughout 2010.”