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The Gym Group sinks to £47m loss as Covid takes its toll

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Simon Neville, PA City Editor, and Henry Saker-Clark, PA City Reporter
·2-min read
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The Gym Group has sunk to a £47.2 million loss in 2020 as Covid-related restrictions hit the company, with its gyms forced to close for large swathes of the year.

Bosses said they remained focused on reopening sites in England from April 12 and April 26 in Scotland and have retained more members during the current lockdown than previously.

They added that 97% of current members say they expect to return to the gym as soon as possible, with 75% saying fitness will be more important to them than before the pandemic.

Richard Darwin, chief executive of the company, told the PA news agency he expects members to quickly return to its sites after reopening amid “strong pent-up demand”.

“By the time we reopen members won’t have been able to go to the gm for eight of the past 12 months,” he said.

“People are really raring to get back and we think there will be plenty who are also keen to become members.

“We’ve always had a good record at getting former members to return so hope we will see a strong amount of people who cancelled last year coming back as things calm down.”

The slump into the red follows a £6.2 million profit in 2019, with revenues falling 47.4% in 2020 to £80 million.

Mr Darwin said: “During 2020 we demonstrated the resilience of our business and its culture even in the most challenging of times.

“By freezing subscriptions when closed and by providing an excellent Covid-secure environment in our gyms when open, we have retained most of our members.

“We are ready to start rebuilding our membership levels and growing our estate from April 12, extending affordable fitness at a time when health and fitness has never been more important.”

Revenues fell due to 45% of trading days in the year lost due to closures, alongside reduced membership.

But despite the falls, the company plans to open three new gyms in April and one in May.

Six leases have also been signed for new sites, with more in the pipeline.

Shares in the company were 2.7% higher at 246.5p in early trading.