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Group Results 2013

Virgin Active Group Results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2013

06 May 2014

Continued growth in membership, revenue and EBITDA. Further international expansion.

London, 6 May 2014: Virgin Active, the international health club operator, today announces summary results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2013.

Highlights:

- Total membership grew by 3% to 1.3 million

- Revenue, on a constant currency basis, was up 5% to £653.1m, with growth across all territories, comprising a 3% like-for-like sales increase and 2% from new club openings.
- UK: +1% 
- South Africa: +14% 
- Continental Europe: +6% 
- Asia Pacific: +6%

- EBITDA, on a constant currency basis, grew by 10% to £125.4m
- UK: +5% 
- South Africa: +14% 
- Continental Europe: +6

- Accounting for the impact of foreign exchange movements in 2013, reported revenue increased by 1.8% and EBITDA by 0.7%

- Continued international expansion, with eight new openings during year delivering high returns on invested capital

- Continued strengthening of the UK business

- Robust balance sheet and continued de-gearing with net debt to EBITDA brought down to 1.9 times, from 2.2 times in 2012, after funding substantial investment in new clubs and our continuous programme of club refurbishment

These strong results have been achieved against the backdrop of a challenging economic environment which underscores the strength and resilience of our business model and strategy, focused on four key success factors:

- People - we aim to attract the most talented people into Virgin Active and then invest in their development to ensure that they are the best in our industry

- Service - understanding what our members want from health, fitness and racquets and ensuring that our offer is built around these needs 

- Value - we aim to offer outstanding value for money to our members - providing comprehensive multi-use facilities at competitive prices 

- Location - we situate our clubs in large catchment areas where we believe the demand will support large facilities that offer a broad range of activities, and which will facilitate reciprocal club usage at facilities close to home and work

During 2013, we opened five clubs in South Africa (including the opening of our Alice Lane classic club in Johannesburg); two in Italy and our first club opened in Singapore in Raffles Place. The group invested £28m of capex into refurbishing and providing state-of- the art equipment into our UK estate, with further significant investment committed in 2014 and more to come in future years. We re-launched our Virgin Active Classic Collection brand. During the year, we also disposed of seven clubs in the UK which no longer conform to our customer proposition.

We continued to lead the market in product innovation during 2013 and were at the forefront of the trend for high intensity interval training with the launch of programs including Puma HIIT and 24 (a program using 24 exercises in 24 minutes). The in-house innovation team continued to deliver with the launch of Fierce (to re-invigorate the dance offering) and NOVA (combining elements of Yoga and Pilates).

Our large club formats mean that members continue to enjoy the widest range of facilities with the best of both functional training space and the latest, most technologically advanced cardio equipment. Innovation is being brought to both of these areas with the introduction of the TRX and Omnia 3D functional training classes, as well as Technogym's Artis range of cardio kit.

The Executive management team was strengthened and reorganised to support future growth plans:

- Paul Woolf was promoted to Chief Executive Officer 
- Matthew Bucknall became Group President, focussed primarily on driving international expansion
- Mark Burrows joined the Group on 5 March 2014 as Chief Financial Officer

2014 is set to be another year of growth, with a continued focus on growing our existing clubs as well as expanding our club footprint (including a new club recently opened in Bangkok, Thailand).

Commenting on the results, Richard Baker, Chairman of Virgin Active said: 
“2013 was another year of good progress for Virgin Active as new clubs and more members drove higher revenues and profits. Looking forward, our strengthened management team, our club investment programme and our pipeline of new sites provide an exciting platform for future growth.”

Paul Woolf, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Active, added: 
“We have delivered a strong performance across all of our markets despite economic conditions remaining challenging this year. At the same time, our international expansion programme is progressing well and we continue to see huge opportunities to roll out our brand across existing and new territories. 
Our global position and our close, data-rich relationship with our 1.3 million customers give us a strong insight, both into what members want and the latest fitness trends, which we are using to innovate throughout our business. We expect this, combined with a growing desire by people around the world to live more active lifestyles, to underpin our continued success.”