Low cost gyms make waves on Fast Track 100 list
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Low cost gyms make waves on Fast Track 100 list

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Pure Gym, Xercise4Less and The Gym Group have all been named on the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100, as low cost operators put in a strong showing on the list of UK private companies with the fastest-growing sales over their latest three years.

In a sign that there is plenty more to come in terms of growth for the sector, Pure Gym (18th), Xercise4Less (21st) and The Gym Group (46th) all came in the top 50 – the only health club operators to feature in the list.

Having taken part in a failed merger with rival chain The Gym Group earlier this year, Pure Gym finished the year on a high with a best ever finish on the list – up five places from 2013. The chain has achieved three year average annual sales growth of 108.66 per cent, with annualised sales figures of £48.3m for 2013/14.

Jon Wright’s Xercise4Less made its debut on the list this year and has set its sights on reaching 100 gyms (it currently has 24) by the end of 2016. The chain’s 2014 sales of £14m helped it achieve a three-year growth average of 104.16 per cent per annum.

Meanwhile, The Gym Group notched its third consecutive appearance on the list ahead of plans to open 25 gyms next year – taking the total number of sites to 70. Sales figures of £36.2m for 2013 (the most recent available) saw the chain record three year average annual sales growth of 71.59 per cent.

Gym Group CEO and founder John Treharne said: “The sustained popularity of budget alternatives across a number of sectors reflects the wider consumer demand for value and significant additional investment is enabling us to build on our success by delivering our award-winning service to even more of the UK population.”

On average, this year's Fast Track 100 companies achieved annual sales growth of 71 per cent over three years, from a total of £749m in 2010/11 to £3.8bn in 2013/14. They almost quadrupled their combined workforce to 18,500 staff over three years, having added 13,500 jobs over the period, some as a result of acquisitions.

Virgin's Sir Richard Branson, whose group is the Fast Track 100 title sponsor, said the list reflected entrepreneurs “taking on many different challenges head-on.”

"Their success is based on real team spirit and it is this togetherness, above and beyond any other factor, that sets great businesses apart from also-rans," he said.

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Pure Gym, Xercise4Less and The Gym Group have all been named on the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100, as low cost operators put in a strong showing on the list of UK private companies with the fastest-growing sales over their latest three years.
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