To absorb the financial impact of the club closures and to maintain the flexibility to reignite its growth strategy, Basic-Fit increased its bank financing by EURm 100 and raised EURm 133 in equity in the first half of the year 2020. In February 2021, it again increased the available liquidity by EURm 150 for the same reasons.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic Basic-Fit achieved 121 net club openings (126 openings and 5 closures), growing the total network to 905 clubs. In France the number of clubs has grown by 90 to 447 clubs. In the Netherlands, it operates 211 clubs, 12 more than in 2019. In Belgium and Spain, it expanded by 10 and 8 clubs respectively and in Luxembourg it operates 10 clubs, one more than in the previous year. Compared to 2019, the number of 121 openings is at a comparable level given that the 155 openings of previous year included the acquisition of 30 Fitland clubs. Nevertheless, the 2020 opening programme was significantly hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of the continued uncertainty regarding the timing of reopening of its clubs, Basic-Fit sees itself currently unable to provide a detailed outlook for the future. However, as soon as the company is allowed to reopen its clubs, it intends to open 45 clubs that were already under construction at the time of the second COVID-19 wave.
Rene Moos, CEO Basic-Fit sets out his general expectations for the future of fitness and Basic-Fit:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the attention for fitness and the desire to lead a more active and healthier lifestyle. We saw the results of this once we were able to reopen our clubs in June and July, when the number of joiners was much higher than in the same period in 2019. We offered our members a safe place to exercise and work on their fitness by applying strict hygiene protocols. Since the reopening of our clubs in June, we had more than 33 million visits to our clubs in 2020, without a single documented COVID-19 outbreak. In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lockdowns and prolonged club closures, we remain confident about the growth opportunities for Basic-Fit. The outlook may even be better, as we believe that once the COVID-19 pandemic is under control in our countries, more people will pay attention to their health and fitness and join a fitness club”.