Community Leisure UK ezine
September 2021
European health club revenues fell by a third in 2020

23 Jun 2021

The number of active memberships across European health clubs fell by roughly 10 million – or 15.4 per cent – during 2020, a year defined by the pandemic.

Clubs, studios and gyms across the continent had a total of 54.8 million members in December 2020 – a significant fall from the 64.8 million members in 2019.

The figures come from the European Health & Fitness Market Report, compiled by Deloitte and published today (23 June) by industry body EuropeActive.

The report also shows that revenues fell by nearly a third (32.9 per cent), from the record level of €28.2bn in 2019 to €18.9bn in 2020. The top 15 European fitness operators achieved total revenues of €2.6 billion in 2020.

The total number of fitness clubs declined by 1.4 per cent to 62,775 – a relatively small figure, considering the pandemic lockdowns forced clubs to close – in some cases – between 40 to 50 per cent of their operational days.

Among the other key findings in the report is that the confidence of investors in future growth opportunities within the fitness sector remains high.

This is demonstrated by the large sums invested during 2020 in the various segments of the fitness ecosystem through existing companies and startups, both online and offline.

"A significant portion of this investment is from big-tech, notably Apple, Google and Amazon," the report states.

"In 2020 16 major M&A transactions involving a total of 854 clubs were registered, with 505 clubs changing ownership before March."

Commenting on the report, EuropeActive's executive director, Andreas Paulsen, said: "Over the past years the European Health & Fitness Market Report has become the gold standard for market research in the fitness and physical activity sector.

"Especially at this challenging and transformative time for our sector, we need reliable data to factually evidence the impact of COVID-19 and more importantly, to evidence our sector’s positive and essential impact in our communities across Europe."

Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said: "This report shows the incredibly damaging impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our sector, following prolonged periods of closure across Europe.

“The loss of revenues and decline in membership levels not only impacts our industry but, crucially, the wellbeing of our nations, both in terms of physical and mental health.

“With the renewed focus on public health and wellbeing across Europe, our governments must grasp the opportunity to help the fitness and leisure sector to develop and grow its impact across society.”

For more information and to purchase the full report, click here.


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