Economically, we’re in the midst of persistent, ongoing, international growth and according to the International Monetary Fund, overall GDP should increase to 3.7 per cent this year, up from 3.6 per cent in 2017, with each of the world’s major economies firmly in the growth column.
That momentum is reflected in the fortunes of the fitness companies that comprise the IHRSA Global 25 listing.
The world’s largest economy – the US – which accounts for 25 per cent of the global total, has the top three entries: Planet Fitness, Orangetheory Fitness, and Anytime Fitness, which, in terms of revenue, achieved growth rates of 21 per cent, 64 per cent, and 16 per cent respectively between 2016 and 2017.
China – economic growth
Number four on the revenue growth list is Qingdao Impulse Health Management, the ranking reflecting China’s position at number two in the global economy.
Moving down the list of the top 10 economies in the world, we find Japan, Germany, the UK, India, France, Italy, and Canada in the next seven places.
Five of these nations are well-represented by operators Konami Sports (Japan); BodyStreet (Germany); David Lloyd Leisure (UK); Keep Cool (France); and Goodlife Fitness (Canada). Only entries from India and Italy are absent.
In almost every category, franchisors are among the industry’s leaders. Last year, we mentioned they were doing well. This year, they’re really blowing the doors off the current lists and forging ahead.
In fact, of the 53 companies whose metrics provide the basis for the IHRSA Global 25 listing, 15 are either franchise-based or offer franchises. And while some things look similar on the surface, exploring further tells a different story.
Big changes since 2017
The Number of Members ranking, for example, shows a top five that looks much as it did in 2016: Planet Fitness, with 8.9m members; 24 Hour Fitness with 3.8m; Gold’s Gym with 3m; Anytime Fitness, with 2.85m; and McFit, with 1.4m.
For 2017, the order is almost identical, with Anytime switching with Gold’s.
However, the differences are significant. Planet Fitness grew 19.1 per cent to 10.6m; 24 Hour Fitness is down by 6.8 per cent to 3.54 million; Anytime is up 24.2 per cent to 3.54 million; Gold’s is stable at 3m, and McFit is up 23.6 per cent to 1.73m.
Fortunately, in the fitness industry, change often equals growth. Proceed a little further down the list, and you’ll find – for example – that Snap Fitness expanded from 438,536 members in 2016 to 509,642, a more-than-healthy 16.2 per cent increase.
Truth in Revenues
More impactful than member numbers are the revenues reported for the year.
For franchise firms, these figures are nothing less than blockbusters. On the Revenues 2017 chart, Planet Fitness, Anytime Fitness, and Orangetheory Fitness check in at one, two and six, respectively. The financial picture becomes much clearer when you explore growths in revenues over the last five years.
Five year growth picture
Top operator, Planet Fitness, for example, leapt from US$211m revenues in 2013 to a whopping US$2.3bn in 2017, a jump of 990 per cent.
At number two, Orangetheory, grew from US$28m to US$739m over the same period, or better than 2,500 per cent. At third, Anytime Fitness, shifted from US$799m to US$1.45bn over the five-year span, an 81 per cent change.
The largest and most entrenched corporately owned players on the chart – Life Time Fitness grew from US$1.2bn to US$1.59bn and 24 Hour Fitness from US$1.3bn to US$1.4bn – grew by 32 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively.
While both continue to grow – a tribute, given Life Time was founded in 1990, and 24 Hour Fitness in 1983 – franchisors hit their revenue strides more quickly, and, at this point in time, there’s no telling where their ceilings might be.