Pure Gym grows customer numbers with membership up 23 per cent and plans to use technology to expand further

Caitlin Morrison
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Pure Gym now has 170 branches in the UK (Source: Pure Gym)

Pure Gym has reported revenue and earnings grew in the year to 31 December 2016, as it increased the number of fitness clubs it owns to 170.

The figures

Revenue increased by 28 per cent to £159.9m from £125.2m in 2015.

Group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose by 41 per cent to £39.5m from £28m.

The budget gym firm grew customer numbers by 23 per cent, and now has 822,000 members, compared with 670,000.

It also increased the number of clubs trading as Pure Gym to 170 from 132.

Why it's interesting

Pure Gym's no-frills approach to fitness is proving a big hit despite the continued popularity of more upmarket (read: expensive) branded workouts like SoulCycle and Barry's Bootcamp.

The group said its impressive membership growth has continued into 2017 with over 100,000 members joining Pure Gym by the end of February, and it has plans for further expansion. Chief executive Humphrey Cobbold pointed out half of Pure Gym's sites are less than two years old, offering "significant further growth potential".

The company is also planning to continue investing in technology to "enhance the member experience and more efficiently manage the business". Pure Gym said it's developing "increasingly sophisticated yield management capabilities akin to hotels or airlines".

"This allows the business to respond to patterns of site usage by flexing the member price and offer as well as improving both member experience and profitability," the group said.

There was no mention in today's results of Pure Gym's intentions to IPO: the firm abandoned a float in October last year citing concerns about market volatility.

What Pure Gym said

"No operator in the history of the gym and fitness sector in the UK has ever achieved this scale of membership and we are passionately pursuing our vision of making great fitness opportunities and facilities available for everybody in the country," said Cobbold.

"For 2017, expansion remains our priority with four new gyms open already and plans for 20 to 25 openings this year in total. Despite our size, we retain a ‘challenger brand’ entrepreneurial spirit with a relentless focus on ensuring our offer appeals to 21st century consumers who want quality and value for money, the flexibility of a no contract offer and facilities they actually use."

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