The Gym Group planning further openings after 'good year' for company
Low-cost fitness chain The Gym Group has said it is limbering up for another raft of openings in 2017 as it posted its first full-year profit.
The company said it swung out of the red with maiden pre-tax profits of £6.9 million in 2016 against losses of £12.4 million the previous year.
The Gym Group, which floated in November 2015, added another 72,000 members in the year, up nearly a fifth at 448,000, after opening another 15 gyms.
It said the new year fitness drive helped it notch up record numbers of new members in January and February, with another 47,000 signed up.
It now plans to open nearly 20 gyms over 2017 - at the top end of its previous expectations for between 15 to 20.
Shares rose 3% after the results.
John Treharne, chief executive of The Gym Group, said 2016 had been a "good year" for the group.
He added: "We will continue to expand rapidly in 2017 through a well-developed site pipeline.
"We have had an encouraging start to 2017 with January and February, key months for any gym business, showing record membership levels."
The group increased its chain to 89 gyms by the end of 2016 and has already secured sites for 17 more.
It said six new gyms are set to open in the first half, with most of the year's planned new sites opening in the final six months.
The chain plans to spend more than £30 million this year on new openings and refurbishments.
Analysts at Numis Securities said The Gym Group and close rival Pure Gym are "continuing to dominate the low-cost segment growth and gain access to the best sites".