The Gym Group's low-cost fitness centres bulk up in 2016

Courtney Goldsmith
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The Gym Group increased its number of sites by over 20 per cent in 2016
The Gym Group increased its number of sites by over 20 per cent in 2016 (Source: Getty)

Britain's fastest-growing operator of low-cost gyms said total revenue for 2016 bulked up with more branch openings and membership sales.

The figures

The Gym Group today said 15 new branches were added in 2016 for a total of 89 in a year-end trading update. The pay-as-you-go gym operator has 17 new branches in the works for 2017.

Net debt was reduced to £5.3m from £7.1m in the previous year, and total year-end membership increased 19.1 per cent to 448,000 compared with 376,000 members in 2015.

Read more: The Gym Group reaches 2015 finishing line in good shape

Eight sites were refurbished and rebranded over the year in line with expectations.

Shares in the company, which floated in 2015, fell more than two per cent at the market open.

Why it's interesting

In July, John Treharne, chief executive of The Gym Group, told City A.M. he doesn't expect the low-cost business to be impacted badly by economic uncertainty brought on by Brexit.

New branch openings have helped boost the fitness provider's results. Over the last two years, the company has opened 34 new sites in line with its target of opening 15 to 20 per year. In 2017, the gym operator expects to be towards the top end of its openings guidance range.

What The Gym Group said

Treharne said:

This has been another year of rapid progress growing the number of sites in our estate by over 20 per cent and achieving our financial goals. Our 2016 openings are performing well.

Our low cost highly affordable model, with a known and predictable cost base, is arguably even more relevant in today's uncertain economic climate. Our pipeline for new sites in 2017 is the strongest we have ever had with strong cash generation to fund future openings.

The company said it will announce its preliminary results in mid-March.

In short

Untouched by the depreciated pound, The Gym Group is sprinting toward positive year-end results.

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