Thank you, Bruce, and good morning, everyone. By now, I’m sure you’ve had the opportunity to review our earnings release. We’re supplementing our remarks this morning with a slide deck that will be posted to our website at the end of our call. We’re hopeful that this enhances our discussion of our financial performance for the quarter and the year.
2011 was an important year for Brunswick. With the backdrop of global economic challenges and overall flattish retail marine demand, our results reflect the significant progress that our company has made in growing its revenue and improving its earnings.
Results for the year reflected the successful execution of our core strategy of generating free cash flow, performing better than the market and demonstrating outstanding operating leverage. Market share gains throughout our organization combined with improved production and operating efficiencies generated 10% revenue growth and increased our operating earnings by $176 million.
In 2011, net income also benefited from the marine plant consolidations and asset sales, lower restructuring costs, reductions in interest, lower warranty, depreciation and pension expenses as well as from a lower tax provision. Operating earnings excluding restructuring, exit and impairment charges were $250 million for the year, an improvement of $137 million as compared to 2010. Operating margins, ex-charges, increased by about 340 basis points to 5.7%. For the year, our operating leverage was 40%.
Sales increased over $3.7 billion in 2011 with growth reflected in all of our segments. Life Fitness experienced the highest level of sales growth at 17%. Net earnings for 2011 were $0.78 per share including $0.25 of restructuring charges, $0.21 of losses on debt retirement and a $0.07 benefit from special tax items. Excluding these three items, our diluted earnings per share would have been $1.17 per share. This compares to a net loss of $1.25 per share in the prior year which included $0.70 of restructuring charges, $0.06 of losses on debt impairments, and $0.03 of expenses from special tax items. Again, excluding these items, 2010’s loss per share would have been $0.46.