Brunswick loss narrows, says boat demand at bottom

By Reuters
Posted Jan. 27 at 10:07 a.m.

Brunswick Corp. reported another quarterly loss Thursday as economic uncertainty continued to keep buyers out of marine showrooms.

The world’s largest maker of recreational boats posted a fourth-quarter loss of $104.1 million, or $1.17 a share, compared with a loss of $124 million, or $1.40 a share, a year earlier.

Revenue at the company, which also makes boat engines, billiard tables and fitness equipment, rose 11 percent, to $728 million.

Stripping out costs associated with its continuing restructuring, Brunswick lost 94 cents a share in the quarter. On that basis, analysts expected the Lake Forest-based company to report a loss of 95 cents a share on sales of $730.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Brunswick said “overall industry marine retail demand has bottomed in 2010″ and forecast it would report “positive earnings per share in 2011, beginning in the first quarter.”

But it said it did not have a clear view of 2011 marine demand and expected only “modest revenue growth” for the year.

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