Brunswick fourth quarter net sales increased to $1.49 billion, up 12% from $1.33 billion a year earlier. Acquisitions accounted for half the sales increase in the quarter. Net income totaled $88.3 million, or 90 cents per diluted share, for Q4, up from net earnings of $58.8 million, or 59 cents per diluted share, for the year-ago quarter. The company said that its fourth quarter diluted earnings per share benefited by 17 cents from several tax-related items. Excluding the effect of these items, diluted earnings per share would have been 73 cents, a 24% increase from the year-ago quarter.
The Fitness segment posted sales of $176.0 million, up 2% from $173.2 million in the year-ago quarter, which included revenue from the since sold chain of Omni retail stores. Operating earnings increased 24% to $30.6 million from $24.7 million, and operating margins improved by 310 basis points to 17.4% from 14.3% in the fourth quarter of 2004.
The Bowling & Billiards segment saw sales increase 5.0% to $126.2 million, compared with $119.8 million in the year-ago quarter. Operating earnings were $15.2 million in the quarter versus $20.0 million in the comparable quarter in 2004. Operating margins were 12.0% in the fourth quarter of 2005 compared with 16.7% in 2004.
The company expects diluted earnings of $3.25 to $3.45 per share for the full year and 56 cents to 60 cents per share in the first quarter, up from 64 cents per diluted share in Q1 2005.