The Gym Group shares opened higher on Friday after the group shared a trading update for the year ended 31 December 2020.
The company, which owns 184 low cost gyms, revealed total revenue to fall from £153.1m in 2019 to £80.5m as it lost 45% of the trading days in the year amid government restrictions.
The Gym Group has started talks with lenders. It said in the update: “Given the ongoing impact from the latest lockdown and its implications for the operational reopening of our gyms, we have started discussions with our lending banks, who continue to be supportive, to review the future covenant tests relating to this facility.”
The company’s memberships fell from 794,000 to 578,000. All memberships have been frozen so that members do not pay whilst the gym is closed.
Richard Darwin, the chief executive, commented: “2020 has been a challenging year for our business, our members and our colleagues. Through the outstanding work of our team we provided a COVID-secure exercise environment for our members and demonstrated the resilience of our business model by trading profitably when gyms have been open.
“Our cash management during the pandemic has ensured we ended 2020 with manageable levels of debt and significant liquidity. At a time when health and fitness has never been more important to the nation, we are ready to emerge from the pandemic and take advantage of the many opportunities available us.”
Despite the difficult year, the Gym Group opened eight new sites last year and is onsite with a further three sites in York, Sydenham and Cambridge.
The group said that it “continues to see an opportunity to access excellent new sites at attractive rents; we are building a strong pipeline for 2021 and beyond and we will continue to progress new leases during this current period of lockdown. We will determine the timing of the rollout programme once there is greater visibility about a reopening date for gyms.”