Budget gyms and boutiques boost European fitness market
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Budget gyms and boutiques boost European fitness market

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Low-cost gyms and boutique operations helped the European fitness Market grow in 2016 as Membership numbers and revenues increased, EuropeActive research has revealed.

Health or fitness memberships increased by 4.4 percent to 56.4m last year, with market value growing 3.1 per cent to €26.3bn (£22.5bn, US$28.1bn).

With 10.1m members, Germany strengthened its position as the country with the highest membership, surpassing the 10m mark for the first time last year. The UK (9.3m), France (5.5m), Italy (5.3m) and Spain (5.1m) completed the top five markets in Europe in terms of membership, according to the European Health and Fitness Market Report 2017.

The McFIT Group (1.5m members), Basic-Fit (1.21m) and Pure Gym (0.82m) were leading operators in terms of membership. Clever Fit (0.55m) and Health and Fitness Nordic (0.54m) completed the top five.

The top 30 European fitness club operators account for 12.7m members, representing 22.5 per cent of all memberships.

The report said the increased memberships were due to the low-cost market as well as an increasing number of specialised boutique clubs.

The research, published by EuropeActive in cooperation with Deloitte, was being presented at the 4th European Health and Fitness Forum ahead of FIBO, the world’s largest fitness trade show, which takes place in Cologne, Germany from tomorrow (Thursday 6 - Sunday 9 April).

With €26.3bn (£22.5bn, US$28.1bn) in revenues in 2016, Europe ranks as the world’s largest health and fitness market, ahead of the US, which recorded €23.3bn (£19.9bn, US$24.9bn) in 2015.

Market value increased 3.1 per cent compared to 2015, with Switzerland (+5.8 per cent), Germany (+4.6 per cent), Finland (+4 per cent), Sweden (+3.9 per cent) and Turkey (+3.4 per cent) showing the highest revenue growth.

Virgin Active (€499m, £426.7m, US$532.4m), David Lloyd Leisure (€442m, £378m, US$471m) and Migros Group (€366m, £313m, US$390.5m) led the European revenue ranking. Health and Fitness Nordic (€337m, £288.2m, US$359.5m) and McFit Group (€327m,

£279.6m, US$348.9m) completed the top five.

The top 10 operators increased revenues by 12.2 per cent to €3bn (£2.6bn, US$3.2bn) last year.

Merger and acquisition activity remained high in 2016 with 17 transactions in the operator market.

In terms of market penetration, Sweden ranked highest with 21.1 per cent of the population holding a health or fitness club membership. Other countries with high fitness club penetration included Norway (19.2 per cent), the Netherlands (16.7 per cent), Denmark (15.8 per cent) and the UK (14.1 per cent).

Herman Rutgers, EuropeActive board member and co-author of the report, said: “2016 was another year of strong growth in terms of membership and market value, and the operators in our survey indicated good growth expectations for 2017 and beyond. This shows that the products and services of our sector remain highly attractive to consumers across Europe and makes us confident to reach the industry goal of 80m members by 2025.”

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Low-cost gyms and boutique operations helped the European fitness market grow in 2016 as membership numbers and revenues increased, EuropeActive research has revealed.
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