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Deloitte says European health club market hit an all-time high for revenues in 2023

Revenues at bricks and mortar clubs exceeded pre-pandemic levels for most European countries in 2023
Memberships were up on the previous year by 13 per cent
There has been a shift from at-home workouts back to health clubs
Customers rate price over environmental factors when choosing a club
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Following three disrupted lockdown years, the European fitness market bounced back in 2023, according to Deloitte and EuropeActive’s hot off the press European Health & Fitness Market Report 2024.

The recovery is reflected in all key European market indicators: revenues were up 14 per cent; memberships up by 8 per cent and there was a 1 per cent increase in the number of clubs.

Revenues of European health and fitness club operators amounted to €31.8 billion, exceeding pre-pandemic levels for the first time. This was driven by large operators expanding and increases in the price of memberships.

By the end of 2023, the European market counted approximately 65,000 clubs and around 67.6 million members.

The top 20 fitness operators generated €6.3 billion in revenues, an increase of 19 per cent on the previous year and ahead of pre-pandemic levels.

When it comes to size, Basic-Fit has the most members with 3.8 million, followed by RSG Group with 2 million and PureGym a close third with 1.9 million. These three account for around 44 per cent of the members when assessing the top 20.

In total, the top 20 fitness operators by membership recorded 17.4 million members by the end of 2023, an increase of about 13 per cent on the previous year.

The club network of the 20 largest operators grew by 7 per cent to 6,155 clubs.

Consumer behaviour

Deloitte also undertook some detailed consumer insight research, finding a noticeable shift away from home fitness towards club-based exercise.

When choosing a fitness club, the most important factors for consumers with a regular fitness routine are price and value for money, followed by quality of equipment, location, and opening hours.

Social factors such as community, recommendation or socially/ecologically sustainable practices of the operators still play a less important role in the club selection process, although they are considered.

Mergers and acquisitionsA total of 12 M&A deals (with a minimum of four clubs and at least 50 per cent of target’s shares) were recorded across Europe’s health and fitness companies and 142 clubs were transferred.

The top three transactions were the acquisition of the Swiss fitness chain, NonStop Gym, by the financial investor Invision AG; the sale of Actic Group’s clubs in the German-speaking countries to ACISO Holding and the acquisition of Aktiv Trening by the Norwegian fitness company Norsk Treningshelse AS.

This annual report is considered the most comprehensive market report on the European fitness industry and its ecosystem, incorporating the extensive market experience of both Deloitte and EuropeActive, as well as the valuable insights contributed by a network of club operators and industry experts.

This year’s report further details information on sustainability regulation in the EU and contains comprehensive analyses on the development of merger and acquisition activities by brick-and-mortar fitness club operators during the last five years.

Speaking at the European Health and Fitness Forum at FIBO recently, Herman Rutgers, co-author of the report, said EuropeActive is still aiming to hit 100 million members by 2030.

Don’t miss the upcoming issue of HCM, which will include a feature by Karsten Hollasch at Deloitte, giving more information on the European Health & Fitness Market Report 2024. You can sign up for your complimentary copy of the magazine here.

To get a copy of the 184-page European Health & Fitness Market Report 2024by Deloitte and EuropeActive go to the Deloitte website here.

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Following three disrupted lockdown years, the European fitness market bounced back in 2023, according to Deloitte and EuropeActive’s hot off the press European Health & Fitness Market Report 2024.

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