Glenn Earlam pushes back on reports of 'material uncertainty' at David Lloyd
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Glenn Earlam pushes back on reports of 'material uncertainty' at David Lloyd

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We expect post-pandemic trading to be strong and are optimistic we can restart our ambitious investment programme soon after our business begins to trade as normal
Credit: David Lloyd Clubs

David Lloyd Leisure has become the latest operator to have its auditors flag up the detrimental effect of the pandemic on the business.

In its annual accounts, Deloitte has said the uncertainties surrounding government-ordered closures could cast "significant doubt" on the group and its future.

The comments come just days after rival operator Virgin Active signalled its intention to raise cash to buffer it from the impact of the pandemic.

However, speaking to HCM, DLL CEO, Glenn Earlam, said a significant number of leisure businesses have had to declare 'material uncertainty' in their accounts, due to the pandemic.

He said DLL was in "very good shape prior to the lockdown" and would return to a similar position, once the current club closures come to an end.

"Our business was growing aggressively before the global pandemic, but the crisis has brought uncertainty across the whole of the leisure sector, and we need an escalated vaccine rollout, so the industry can reopen its doors as soon as possible," Earlam said.

"As the nation is now prioritising its health and fitness, we expect post-pandemic trading to be strong, and are optimistic we can restart our ambitious investment programme soon after our business begins to trade as normal."

DLL's banks are not due to renew their lending agreements until next year, giving the operator time to rebuild its income streams once the vaccine has been implemented and clubs reopened.

David Lloyd is one of Europe’s largest premium operators, with 124 clubs – 100 in the UK and a further 24 across Europe. The clubs are managed under its two brands, David Lloyd Clubs and Harbour Clubs.

The company has been creative in tackling the pandemic emergency, being the first national operator to reopen for tennis and then outdoor workouts and one of the first to launch a hybrid offering. Earlam has also been very active in lobbying for the sector.

David Lloyd has also just launched a timely new initiative called Team PB, to help people counter the negative effects of lockdowns.

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David Lloyd Leisure has become the latest operator to have its auditors flag up the detrimental effect of the pandemic on the business.
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