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The Gym Group posts stunning results in return to trading

The Gym Group has outperformed all of its own expectations in the six weeks of operations since reopening
The group said there had been "strong demand for the return to gyms" since lockdown
Total membership increased from 547,000 at the end of February 2021 to 729,000 by 24 May 2021
Gym Group has opened four new gyms since 12 April 2021 and looks to expand further in 2021 and 2022
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With membership levels growing strongly, we are building our pipeline of new gyms to take advantage of what we see as a unique opportunity to extend affordable fitness
Credit: The Gym Group

The Gym Group has outperformed all of its own expectations in the six weeks of operations since reopening its 180+ clubs.

The group said there had been "strong demand for the return to gyms" since lockdown restrictions on gyms were eased across the UK – starting with England on 12 April – resulting in total membership increasing from 547,000 at the end of February 2021 to 729,000 by 24 May 2021.

Members' keenness to get back on the gym floor is also reflected in gym visit data being "extremely strong". The average number of visits per member per week since reopening stands at 1.5 – compared with 1.1 for the comparative period in 2019.

All of the Gym Group sites are back trading and all of its members are now paying, with the free freeze option having been removed upon re-opening.

Encouragingly, member satisfaction scores are significantly higher than pre-COVID-19 levels, reflecting positive feedback from members on safety and cleanliness protocols.

Gym Group has opened four new gyms since 12 April 2021 – in Chichester, York, Cambridge and London Sydenham, taking the total estate to 187.

According to Richard Darwin, CEO, all of the four new gyms are performing "extremely well" and have grown strong levels of membership despite a limited pre-sale marketing period.

“Our members are delighted to be working out in the gym once more with visits per member and new joiner sign-up rates at record levels," Darwin said, adding that the group had commenced discussions with lending banks to increase its financial flexibility as it looks to accelerate its new site opening programme.

"With membership levels growing strongly, we are building our pipeline of new gyms to take advantage of what we see as a unique opportunity to extend affordable fitness to even more locations across the UK,” Darwin said.

Gym Group's net debt at the end of April was £63.1m, with outstanding deferred rent and VAT of a further £9.4m, versus a total bank facility of £100m.

Darwin added: "At current levels of membership, in May we expect to be cash-flow positive – pre-expansionary capex – and therefore expect to generate cash flow towards our new site rollout."

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The Gym Group has outperformed all of its own expectations in the six weeks of operations since reopening its 180+ clubs.
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