The current period of club closures in our larger markets are lasting longer than expected and we believe also longer than needed
– René Moos
Basic-Fit lost 10 per cent of its members during Q1 2021, as 94 per cent of its clubs remained closed due to government measures.
The closures across Europe meant that the company recorded revenues of just €37m during the quarter, down from €137.5m in Q1 2020.
The group said it has €142m liquidity available at the end of the quarter.
Announcing the figures, René Moos, Basic-Fit CEO, criticised European governments for keeping gyms in lockdown, despite the sector's safety measures and the proven benefits of physical activity in the fight against COVID-19.
“The current period of club closures in our primary markets are lasting longer than expected and we believe also longer than needed," Moos said.
"While we all know that being fit and active helps to strengthen people’s immune system, this received little attention from the governments and policymakers in these countries.
"With our online reservation system, we are able to manage the flow of people to our clubs and the number of people in our clubs at any given time.
"This in combination with clear signage in the club ensures that social distancing can be maintained.
"In addition, our large clubs are equipped with optimised ventilation systems and we can, therefore, reopen our clubs and offer our members a safe place to work out.
"We proved this last year when we had more than 30 million visits without any reported outbreaks of COVID-19.
"The good news is that due to the vaccination programmes we're getting closer to the reopening of the economy and our clubs. In the coming months we expect to be able to reopen our clubs; first in the Netherlands on 11 May, followed by Belgium and France soon thereafter.
"We are ready to welcome our members back to our clubs and welcome all those new joiners who are eager to become active again and work on their fitness after all these inactive months.”
Basic-Fit also revealed that it had raised €204m through selling shares, as a way of financing growth opportunities once its gyms reopen.
The sale saw 6 million ordinary shares being placed at a price of €34 – a discount of 3.7 per cent to the closing price of €35.32 – and represented 10 per cent of the existing issued ordinary share capital of Basic-Fit.