edelhelfer/EuropeActive European Health & Fitness Market
edelhelfer/EuropeActive report as of 31.12.2013
Fitness penetration in European countries increases, resulting in a total of 46 million members in health and fitness clubs. The largest European fitness club operators continue to grow and investment companies strongly support their expansion. Those are some of the key findings of the report on the current trends in "The European Health and Fitness Market" that will be published tomorrow by, EuropeActive, formerly known as the European Health & Fitness Association.
At the end of 2013, the 20 leading fitness companies already comprised 7.8 million members or 17% of the estimated total membership in Europe. The development is strongly driven by the growing low-cost operators, like Basic-Fit, Fit For Free, or Pure Gym, which are expanding their concept of affordable fitness. The most successful player in the discount segment also leads the overall membership ranking: 1.2 million people exercise in the almost 200 clubs of Germany-based operator McFit and pay only EUR 19.90 per month for their memberships. After having opened its first clubs in Italy and Poland in early 2014, the company is expected to resume its growth which had stagnated due to the preparation of its international expansion.
However, when it comes to revenues, other companies lead the pack. Virgin Active, part of Richard Branson's Virgin Group, is the market leader in Europe. It operates clubs in the UK, Italy, Spain, and Portugal and generates total revenues of EUR 532 million. Ranked nr. 2 is David Lloyd Leisure (EUR 398 million) followed closely by nr. 3, Leisure Group Europe with its two brands HealthCity and Basic-Fit (EUR 388 million).
"In 2013, the ten leading fitness companies in Europe had total revenues of EUR 2.8 billion and operators needed revenues of at least EUR 150 million to be part of the top 10. Given the current developments, it is very likely that the aggregated revenues will grow to over EUR 3 billion already in 2014. Moreover, particularly driven by the commitments of investment companies, discount operators will extend their presence in the top 10 in the near future", predicts Niels Gronau, author of the released report and industry expert for Deloitte. One of the latest examples of the ongoing interest of private equity companies in the fitness industry in general and especially the low-cost segment, but by far not the only one, is the acquisition of a 55% share in Basic-Fit by 3i Group. Alltogether, a total of approximately 30 major deals involving fitness operators have taken place since 2011.
In addition to the prospects regarding individual chain operators, the positive developments of national fitness markets in Europe attract investors' attention. Turkey and Poland are the fastest growing markets with growth rates of more than 20% as the new report reveals. While both countries are still relatively new on the fitness landscape, each of them seems to provide further growth potential with a fitness penetration rate of only 6.4% in Poland and 2.2% in Turkey. In comparison, the portion of the total population being members at a fitness club in Sweden and the Netherlands amounts to 16.1% and 16.2%, respectively. Regarding membership growth, even the two largest fitness markets, the UK and Germany, realized an increase of 4.5% and 8.6%, respectively in 2013.
There are three major drivers for the growth in number of customers in European fitness clubs: The fundamental trend of increasing health awareness, the diversification of the industry in more mature markets and the recognition of fitness as part of people's lifestyle in younger fitness markets. "At the end of 2013, a total of 46 million members exercise in one of the 46,500 clubs throughout Europe. We are very confident that this number will increase further in the future. Until 2025 we are aiming to achieve a total of 80 million members with our plan for getting Europe more active", states Herman Rutgers, board member of EuropeActive and co-author of the report.
The "European Health & Fitness Market - Report as of 31.12.2013" was published in English language at 01. May 2014 can be ordered at a price of 195,- EUR (incl. VAT) here.
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