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Fitness Financials: Nautilus 2Q sales up, narrows loss; Precor helps Amer Sports; Garmin gains; Big Five improves

Despite a jittery economy, fitness equipment manufacturers Nautilus and Precor report gains, so does Garmin's fitness segment and Big Five sporting goods.

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Nautilus Inc. (NYSE: NLS) reported higher sales and narrowed its loss for the second quarter 2012, partly due to a bump in retail orders ahead of planned price increases.

The Vancouver, Wash.-based home fitness equipment manufacturer saw its revenue rise to $39.6 million, up 14 percent from a year ago. Nautilus’ quarterly net loss shrunk to $200,000, compared to a net loss of $3.3 million during the same period last year.

Nautilus’ retail segment boosted its second-quarter performance, rising 22.9 percent to $14 million. Officials said retailers increased their purchases ahead of planned price increases that go into effect during the second half of this year. The company’s direct-to-consumer segment rose 10 percent in the second quarter to reach $24.7 million. Officials said cardio products continued to lead the way.

“With this improved performance, we now have confidence to invest in a more robust innovation platform, applying new learning from recently completed consumer research, to better position the company in terms of product diversification and improved top and bottom line growth in the future,” Nautilus CEO Bruce Cazenave said in the Aug. 6 earnings release.

Looking ahead, Cazenave said the company expects some slowdown in retail because of the previous advance orders, plus a cut into margins from an incremental investment to launch new products.

“We will continue to focus on implementing our long term business strategy and, despite the added new product launch investments and the challenges in retail, we expect to achieve profitability in the second half of this year.”

To close the second quarter, Nautilus reported $16.1 million in cash and no debt.

Precor sales boost Amer Sports

Strong sales of Precor fitness equipment, both home and commercial, helped boost Amer Sports fitness and overall sales.

The Finland-based company’s fitness segment, which is driven by Woodinville, Wash.-based Precor, reported sales up 23 percent to EUR 56.4 million ($70.1 million), up 11 percent in local currencies. Despite the economic weakness in Europe, sales were up in the region due to increased marketing and distribution efforts, officials said. Commercial sales rose 10 percent, and consumer sales were up 16 percent, both in local currencies, officials said.

Overall, Amer Sports, which includes outdoor and ball sports segments as well, reported total sales up 12 percent to EUR 353.8 million ($439.5 million), up 5 percent in local currencies. But the company’s quarterly loss widened to EUR 22.4 million ($27.8 million), versus a loss of EUR 12.6 million ($15.7 million) a year ago, due to “investments into the expansion of softgoods, sales coverage, emerging markets and own retail burdened the seasonally low quarter.”

Garmin Fitness up 5 percent in 2Q

GPS maker Garmin reported positive sales and earnings for the second quarter 2012, including gains from its fitness segment.

Garmin’s fitness sales increased 5 percent to $82 million, compared to a year ago, as its Forerunner 305 and 610 series sold well, along with the introduction of its 910XT, officials said.

Overall, Garmin reported total second-quarter revenue up 7 percent to $718 million, while its quarterly net income rose to $185.9 million, versus $109.5 million a year ago.

Big Five sales inch up in 2Q

Big Five (Nasdaq: BGFV) same-store sales rose 1 percent for the second quarter 2012 as the sporting goods, outdoor and fitness retailer showed its first improvement since the third quarter 2010.

Officials said the recovery would have been stronger had it not been for shifting the Fourth of July sales into the third quarter. Sales were strongest from the apparel and footwear categories.

Overall second-quarter revenue increased 3.2 percent to $226.6 million, while quarterly net profit slipped to $2.6 million versus $ 3.1 million a year ago.

Big Five opened three new stores, and closed three stores (one of each a relocation) to end the second quarter with 407 stores in operation. It expects to open three stores and close two during the third quarter, and open nine stores and close one in the fourth quarter.

–David Clucas