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Gym sector retains strength, despite Fitness First sale

Despite the likely sale of the country’s largest gym operator, a new report has found the local gym sector hasn’t lost any of its strength as expanding waistlines ensure demand for fitness services grow.

Reports surfaced earlier this month that the London-based private equity firm BC Partners planned to put Fitness First Australia and Asia up for sale, a transaction that could be worth $1 billion.

According to IBISWorld, the fitness industry will generate revenue of $2.9 billion in 2011-12 (up 2.4 percent year-on-year), with $1.1 billion or 38.2 percent going directly to gyms and fitness centre operators.

Over the next five years, total spending on fitness activities and equipment is expected to rise 19.3 percent to be worth $3.4 billion.

The report found that after walking, going to the gym is our favourite way to keep fit with 2.5 million Australians visiting gyms in 2009/10.

Key trends in the industry include a movement towards female-only gyms as well as 24-hour gyms, such as Anytime Fitness and Jetts Gym.

Fitness First is the market-leader and controls an estimated 13.5 percent of the total expenditure on fitness activities and equipment, and 35 percent of all gym revenue. The YMCA is the second largest gym operator, earning an estimated $89 million from fitness and gym activity.

Thanks to an ever-increasing range of products, programs and equipment coming onto the market, IBISWorld suggests players in the local fitness industry need to continually evolve and adapt.

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Lorna Brett

Lorna Brett

Lorna was Dynamic Business’ Social Web Editor in 2011/12. She’s a social media obsessed journalist, who has a passion for small business. Outside the 9 to 5, you’re likely to find her trawling the web for online bargains, perfecting her amateur photography skills or enjoying one too many cappucinos. You can follow her on <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/dynamicbusiness">Twitter @DynamicBusiness</a>

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