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Profits at The Gym Group set to rise as fitness fans pick premium package

PA Media logoPA Media 23/08/2019 By Alys Key, PA City Reporter

a group of people jumping in the air: The Gym Group will report interim results on Thursday (The Gym Group/PA) © Provided by The Press Association The Gym Group will report interim results on Thursday (The Gym Group/PA) All eyes will be on premium membership and mini gyms as The Gym Group reports its results for the first half on Thursday.

Led by chief executive Richard Darwin, the company will update investors on the roll-out of its LIVE IT membership, which offers customers benefits like using multiple gyms or taking a friend for an additional cost.

At the trading update in July, the group said its profitability per customer had improved due to the product, as more members picked the option.

Focused women exercising in exercise class at gym © Getty Images Focused women exercising in exercise class at gym It is also expected to flesh out plans for so-called “small box” gyms, which use less space than traditional sites. The first site is due to open in Nottinghamshire later this year.

The chain already has around 165 locations in the UK and has been expanding rapidly.

City analysts at Peel Hunt expect profit before tax to be 30% higher at £9 million for the first six months of the year, following the opening of new gyms and a rise in membership numbers.

As of June 30, member numbers had hit 796,000.

A young group of people staying fit by exercising with rowing machines at the gym. © Getty Images A young group of people staying fit by exercising with rowing machines at the gym. Analyst Douglas Jack said the business is well-positioned to maintain growth in the coming years.

“We believe the demand/supply dynamics of the low-cost gym market sector support The Gym Group’s growth ambitions,” he said.

“For example, in the year to March, 65% of gym market membership growth was in low-cost gyms, within which 70% of new gyms were opened by the top two operators.”

Focused, strong women exercising, doing planks in a row in exercise class © Getty Images Focused, strong women exercising, doing planks in a row in exercise class He added that, at its current rate of growth, The Gym Group is set to pay off all its bank debt over four years.

Shares in The Gym Group were trading 1.2% lower on Friday afternoon at 243p.

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