Virgin Active in shape for Asian expansion

Kasmira Jefford
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VIRGIN ACTIVE is poised to break into the Asian market with the first gym due to open in Singapore this summer, the group said yesterday as it reported a rise in sales.

The gym chain, which is controlled by private equity group CVC after its owner Richard Branson sold a majority stake in 2011, posted a six per cent rise in underlying earnings to £124.4m last year.

Revenues across the group grew 26 per cent to £641.5m, boosted by 13 new club openings and a full year’s trading from Esporta.

Virgin Active acquired four Australian clubs owned by Virgin Group in 2011 as part of the deal with CVC, giving the company its first foothold in Asia Pacific.

It is now targeting further openings in gateway cities on the continent, with the aim of opening around five clubs in Singapore and six in Bangkok.

A spokesperson dismissed rumours that it is eyeing a stock market float. He also declined to comment on speculation that it is planning to bid for David Lloyd Leisure.