Sign of the times: Brunswick reports 4Q earnings loss

Probly the biggest name in billiards reports 4th quarter loss. …

Brunswick Corp. reported Thursday a net loss from continuing operations of $66.3 million during its fourth quarter, or 75 cents per diluted share, mainly due to marine sales that dropped 50 percent as the global marine marketplace continues to slow.

The quarter compared with net earnings of $12.1 million, or 14 cents per diluted share, for the same period in 2007.

The Lake Forest, Ill.-based company, the parent of Fond du Lac marine engine maker Mercury Marine, reported fourth-quarter sales of $837.7 million, down 42 percent from $1.44 billion the previous year. For the year ended Dec. 31, 2008, Brunswick had net sales of $4.7 billion, compared with $5.6 billion in 2007. The company had an operating loss for the year of $611.6 million, compared with operating earnings of $107.2 million the previous year.

For 2008, Brunswick had a net loss from continuing operations of $788.1 million, or $8.93 per diluted share, compared with net earnings from continuing operations of $79.6 million, or 88 cents per diluted share, in 2007.

The company’s boat segment, its largest operating group, experienced a 25 percent drop in sales during 2008 to $2 billion, down from $2.7 billion in 2007. Its marine engine segment, consisting of the Mercury Marine Group, reported a 17 percent decrease in net sales during 2008 to $1.9 billion, down from $2.3 billion in 2007.

Brunswick’s (NYSE: BC) billiards and bowling business, which has Wisconsin operations in Bristol, had total 2008 sales of $448.3 million, up slightly from a year ago. The segment had an operating loss for the year of $12.7 million, down from $16.5 million in 2007.

The billiards operation in Bristol is combined with Brunswick’s bowling segment, which includes bowling centers, equipment and products, billiards, air hockey and foosball tables.

“As we anticipated, 2008 proved to be a very challenging year for our businesses and we expect 2009 to also be difficult,” said Dustan McCoy, Brunswick’s chairman and CEO. “Although we have limited visibility to a very volatile marketplace entering the year, we expect our revenues to be lower in 2009 with higher relative percentage declines occurring in the first half of the year.”

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Published in: on January 31, 2009 at 12:23 am  Leave a Comment  
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