Thursday 1 July 2021 6:45 pm

Gym Group eyes £31m of investor funding for 40 new sites

Daily news reporter in City A.M.'s London newsroom

The UK’s second-largest gym chain, Gym Group, aims to raise £31m from investors to fund an expansion with 40 new branches.

The low-cost gym operator said it plans to open the new sites over the next 18 months as it continues its rapid rollout programme.

It said the impact of Covid-19 on the commercial property market has provided a “unique opportunity” to quickly snap up attractive sites on good terms.

The gym chain said it will use the funding to speed up its growth, typically opening between 15 and 20 sites a year. Last month, the group said it had opened four new sites, taking its portfolio to 187 gyms.

Bosses said the cash injection will be funded by a placing of new shares, although the number and pricing are yet to be agreed.

In a statement to investors, the Gym Group added that trading has “outperformed” expectations since it reopened sites in April. While total membership grew this year, numbers were still below pre-pandemic levels in December 2019.

The firm said it expects membership levels to be “steady” over the summer months as more people exercise outside. However, it expects numbers to increase later this year as people return to offices and universities.