Duncan Bannatyne takes back the reins at Bannatyne as CEO Justin Musgrove steps down
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Duncan Bannatyne takes back the reins at Bannatyne as CEO Justin Musgrove steps down

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I'm thrilled to be back at the frontline
– Duncan Bannatyne

Duncan Bannatyne is to return to frontline involvement in the health club, spa and hotel business that bears his name, as current CEO, Justin Musgrove, announces his departure for a new role in the Middle East.

Bannatyne, who will function as executive chairman, said he was "thrilled to be back at the frontline, leading the business at a time of great opportunity and excitement in the UK economy".

He told HCM: "Our CEO, Justin Musgrove, has done a great job in the last five years and we wish him well as he embarks on a new career in the Middle East. He leaves the business in fine fettle and I will enjoy running it again in a more hands-on role."

Bannatyne added that, following this period of investment, the business is expected to maintain its growth and profits. It currently has 210,000 members and employs more than 3,000 people.

Bannatyne Group has a portfolio of 72 health clubs, 47 spas and four hotels, boasting a turnover of £127.5m in the year to December 2018 in its latest results. This figure represents growth of 8.5per cent on its 2017 results (£117.6m). Profit improved slightly, from £14.3m to £14.6m between the two years.

The group has been progressing through a three-year, £50m re-equipping and refurbishing programme, with the final stage of this now starting. It said that new app-based technology allowing members to monitor their fitness using personal electronic wristbands has been rolled out successfully.

Musgrove, who was previously with Center Parcs, has steered the company into safe waters following a serious fraud incident in 2014.

Christopher Watson, the former finance director of the Bannatyne Group, was jailed in 2015 after admitting to defrauding the company out of nearly £8m over a six-year period.

Watson took £7,974,221 from July 2008 to July 2014, which he used to pay off millions of pounds of gambling debts and buy several properties.

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Duncan Bannatyne is to return to frontline involvement in the health club, spa and hotel business that bears his name, as current CEO, Justin Musgrove, announces his departure for a new role in the Middle East.
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