Nautilus Inc., the Vancouver-based manufacturer of fitness machines, flexed financial muscle in the third quarter, recording net sales of $59.06 million and posting a profit of $2.48 million.The company’s net revenue in the July-to-September period was up 28 percent from $46.25 million in the year-ago period, company officials said during an earnings conference call Monday. And Nautilus’ third-quarter profit was up 80 percent from $1.38 million in the same three-month period in 2013.The numbers mark a robust showing for the company as it approaches the peak season for sales of fitness equipment. Nautilus continues “to make progress across all areas of our business,” CEO Bruce Cazenave said, with the company reporting “another strong quarter of financial growth and improved profitability.”The positive results stem from several factors, company officials said, including Nautilus’ ongoing focus on product innovation, an increase in consumer credit approval rates in the U.S. and the company’s successful launches of new fitness equipment.Meanwhile, the company said Monday its board of directors has OK’d the repurchase of up to $15 million of Nautilus’ outstanding common stock. The company’s strong balance sheet provides the flexibility to return capital to shareholders, Cazenave said. Nautilus is expected to repurchase shares over the next 24 months, he said, through a program funded by existing cash balances.