The Gym Group loses a quarter of its members in 2020

The Corona-related shutdowns cost the company almost half of its previous year's turnover. This is according to the Pre-Close Trading Update of the listed fitness operator The Gym Group for the past financial year, which was published today. Despite the cutbacks due to the closures, the company still considers itself to be in a good position. The company's share price has so far shown itself to be relatively unimpressed by the declines in members and turnover.

Overall, the company lost 45 per cent of its business days in 2020. Official regulations forced The Gym Group to close its facilities for at least four months from 20 March. The majority of the facilities were able to reopen on 25 July. After all facilities were open in the meantime, 162 of the 183 facilities have been closed again since December. Since 4 January, the British government has then ordered a nationwide lockdown.

During the shutdowns, the chain offered its members to freeze their contracts at no extra cost, meaning that no membership fees had to be paid. At the same time, the company lost more than 200,000 members compared to the previous year, representing about 25 per cent of its total membership.

This situation had a direct impact on sales. As a result, revenues of GBP 80.5 million were 47 per cent lower than in 2019 (GBP 153.1 million). At the same time, year-end non-property net debt remained at the same level as the previous year. In the months following the lockdown, the company generated positive cash flow with GBP 3.8 million of deferred rents outstanding at the end of the year. To secure its liquidity, The Gym Group has entered into a GBP 100 million bank facility.

The company is positive about the future. “We demonstrated the resilience of our business model by trading profitably when gyms have been open”, comments Richard Darwin, CEO of The Gym Group. “At a time when health and fitness has never been more important to the nation, we are ready to emerge from the pandemic and take advantage of the many opportunities available us.“

Even in the current situation, the company continues to work on its expansion. A total of eight new facilities opened in 2020. Currently, the company is onsite with a three further sites. In addition, The Gym Group says it continues to work on leases for new facilities so that it can continue to open facilities in 2021 and into the future.

Picture material: The Gym Group

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