Brunswick Corporation (BC)

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Brunswick Corporation (BC)

Q4 2010 Earnings Call

January 27, 2011 11:00 am ET

Executives

Bruce Byots - VP, Investor and Corporate Relations

Dusty McCoy - Chairman and CEO

Peter Hamilton - SVP and CFO

Analysts

Ed Aaron - RBC Capital Market

James Hardiman - Longbow Research

Richard Whiting - Broadview Advisors

Joe Hovorka - Raymond James

John Harloe - Barrow Hanley

Laura Starr - Nuveen Asset Management

Presentation

Operator

Good morning and welcome to the Brunswick Corporation 2010 Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call. All participants will be in a listen-only mode, until the question-and-answer period. Today's meeting will be recorded, if you have any objections you may disconnect at this time.

I would now like to introduce Bruce Byots, Vice President of Corporate and Investor Relations. Please proceed.

Bruce Byots

Good morning and thank you for joining us. On the call this morning is Dusty McCoy, Brunswick's Chairman and CEO and Peter Hamilton, our CFO.

Before we begin with our prepared remarks, I'd like to remind everyone that during this call, our comments will include certain forward-looking statements about future results.

Please keep in my mind that our actual results will differ materially from these expectations. For the details on the factors to consider, please refer to our recent SEC filings and today's press release. All of these documents are available on our website at brunswick.com. I would now like to turn the call over to Dusty McCoy

Dusty McCoy

Thanks, Bruce and good morning, everyone. By now I hope everyone has had the opportunity to review our fourth quarter earnings release. 2010 was an important transitional year for us. We continue to make significant strides in rationalizing our manufacturing footprint and executing against strategies that allowed us to operate our businesses more efficiently. These actions enabled us to demonstrate strong levels of operating earnings leverage in 2010 putting us in an excellent position to return to profitability in 2011.

Our full year 2010 results reflect revenue growth of 23% and a loss of $1.25 per share, including $0.70 of restructuring charges and $0.03 per share of charges from special tax items. This compares to the 2009 loss of $6.63 per share which included a $1.95 per share restructuring charges and $1.09 per share from special tax items.

Our full-year operating earnings, excluding restructuring, exit and impairment charges were $79 million, an improvement of $477 million as compared to the loss experienced in prior year period. Our operating margin, ex-restructuring charges was 2.3% in 2010, representing our highest annual consolidated and operating margins since 2007, when U.S. marine retail boat market was twice the size it was in 2010.

In the fourth quarter, a quarter in which less than 10% of annual marine industry retail sales occurred, we reported a net loss of $1.17 per share on a sales increase of 11%. The quarterly EPS includes $0.21 per share restructuring charges and a $0.02 per share charge for special tax items.

Our quarterly operating loss, excluding restructuring, exit and impairment charges were $56 million, an improvement of $63 million as compared to a loss experienced in the prior-year period. Increases in wholesale unit shipments in both our Marine Engine and Boat segments, combined with double-digit growth in our Fitness segment were the main drivers of our 11% top-line growth. Our volume growth generated improvements in fixed cost absorption in our Marine and Fitness businesses.

Also contributing to the significant reduction in our fourth quarter operating loss were approximately $10 million of lower discounts required to facilitate retail boat sales and about $14 million of reduced bad debt provisions, primarily in the Engine segment.

Lower pension expense in the fourth quarter of approximately $15 million also had a favorable effect on the Marine Engine and Bowling & Billiard segments as well as on corporate expenses. A portion of the reduction in pension expense along with lower bad debt experience were the main factors that lowered our fourth quarter’s SG&A by 13% compared with 2009.

Our cash and marketable securities increased by nearly $130 million from yearend 2009 and net debt decreased by $150 million. Peter will comment in his remarks on the key factors affecting our improved cash position as well as provide you with a perspective on our 2011 cash flow targets supporting our objective of generating positive free cash flow.

Let’s review the preliminary fourth quarter U.S. Marine Industry data. Fiberglass sterndrive, inboard boat unit demand fell by 43%. This compares to declines of 38% in the third quarter of 2010 and 24% in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Outboard fiberglass boat retail unit demand fell 14% in the fourth quarter. This compares to declines of 23% in the third quarter of 2010 and 9% in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Aluminum product demand increased by 2% in the quarter. This compares to a decrease of 2% in the third quarter of 2010 and a 19% decline in the fourth quarter of 2009. After taking into account the different unit volumes, preliminary total industry unit demand declined approximately 10% in the fourth quarter. This compares to a 17% decline in the third quarter.

For the full year of 2010, total industry demand declined by 14% bringing the US industry retail powerboat units down to approximately 132,000 units.

Let me provide you with some additional commentary regarding the 2010 data.

Aluminum demand in the last three quarters of 2010 did stabilize and looks flat, when compared to 2009. The pontoon market actually experienced a solid increase in units sold in 2010, and although our higher price fiberglass boats have yet to experience similar trends, we believe the magnitude of their declines was affected by the pronounced discounting that occurred in 2009, but which was not replicated in 2010.

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