In a typically strong season for the fitness equipment business, Nautilus had a 44.4 percent drop in sales to $72.1 million, with double-digit decreases in all four of its segments, mirroring the problems of Precor and other competitors. The company’s net loss was $13.8 million against a loss of $6.4 million for the quarter ended March 31; this year’s figure included pre-tax restructuring charges of $3.8 million.

Results from continuing operations for the first quarter of 2008 exclude the company’s former apparel business, which was sold in April 2008 and is considered a discontinued operation.

Direct sales fell by 41.5 percent to $40.7 million, though the company noted that its TreadClimber products were up over the 2008 level. Retail revenues saw a drop of 50.3 percent to $12.5 million. Commercial sales dropped by 46.5 percent to $18.0 million, and corporate turnover was down by 24.5 percent to $791,000.

During the quarter, Nautilus lowered its direct media spending by $7.9 million. The company said it was encouraged by operating improvements despite the consolidated net loss. In the three months Nautilus achieved its highest gross margin in over a year at 43.4 percent, as it lowered its year-over-year operating expenses by 33 percent.