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Fitness industry confidence 'on the up'

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More than a third (42 per cent) of senior managers in the UK's health and fitness industry are confident that the performance of their business will improve over the next 12 months.

The figure - from the latest Fitness Industry Confidence Survey (FICS), compiled by customer insight specialist Leisure-net - is considerably higher than two years ago (2010), when only 17 per cent of managers were optimistic about their future.

The industry's confidence in improving primary income streams is also up - the figure has risen to over a third (39 per cent) this year, up from 23 per cent in 2010.

However, when asked about the state of the UK economy as a whole, 40 per cent expect things to get worse and only 13 per cent are optimistic about the next 12 months - the remaining 47 per cent expect the economy to remain roughly the same.

The uncertain economy and the rapid expansion of budget club chains left its mark on the industry in 2012 - 59 per cent of health club managers said they had experienced increased competition for revenue in the past 12 months.

When asked about the one major challenge for 2013, 37 per cent saw the economy in general as the main threat, followed by member retention (13 per cent), utility costs (9 per cent) and membership sales (6 per cent).

However, more than a third of managers (37 per cent) expect to increase the level of investment in their current facilities during 2013, while 45 per cent will keep capital expenditure at 2012 levels. Only 20 per cent are expecting to cut investment.

Mike Hill, managing director of Leisure-net, said: "The FICS provides a barometer of the past year, and gives the industry useful indicators for the year ahead.

"From the 2012 survey it seems that, while macro economic conditions continue to present problems, for the first time we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel, with most key indicators showing signs of improvement."

For more information on the survey, click here.

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More than a third (42 per cent) of senior managers in the UK's health and fitness industry are confident that the performance of their business will improve over the next 12 months.
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