Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

April 2013

IHRSA Reports: Health Clubs Still Going Strong

For the third year in a row, the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association's regular examination of health clubs' financial performance has shown improved performance, according to the IHRSA Index.

IHRSA announced the release of the IHRSA Index results for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2012 and the full year of 2012. The Index demonstrates the financial performance of the commercial health club industry. The date reflects information for 18 leading U.S. health and sport club companies, representing 538 facilities.

"For three consecutive years, the IHRSA Index has improved year-over-year performance," said Jay Ablondi, executive vice president of Global Products for IHRSA. "Improvements were recorded in all nine performance indicators measured," Ablondi added. "Significantly, the greatest growth was achieved in non-dues revenue and EBITDAR" (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and rent).

Over the full year ending Dec. 31, 2012, the IHRSA Annual Financial Index posted an increase of 9.6 percent in non-dues revenue and 10.3 percent in EBITDAR. Total revenue grew by 8.1 percent while membership dues revenue rose by 6.7 percent. Total membership accounts also improved modestly by 2.9 percent. Same-store facilities increased total revenue, membership dues revenue and non-dues revenue.

"This sample of leading clubs are attracting members, winning over consumers with non-dues offerings and closely managing expenses," said Melissa Rodriguez, manager of IHRSA research. "The Index has increasingly improved key metrics each year, including same-store clubs."

In 2012, same-store sales grew by 2.9 percent, while non-dues revenue rose by 3.6 percent. In 2011, same-store total revenue improved by a slight 0.9 percent, same-store non-dues revenue grew by a modest 0.8 percent. EBITDAR improved by 9 percent in 2011, and rose by 10.3 percent in 2012.

For the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2012, the Index sustained growth from previous quarters. On a quarter-to-quarter basis, total revenue grew by 6.4 percent as non-dues revenue increased by 9.6 percent, nearly a double-digit percent growth. Membership dues revenue and EBITDAR improved by 4.9 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively.

"In 2012, the IHRSA Index demonstrated that new and mature clubs can coexist and deliver the support, services and value that consumers crave," Ablondi said. "By finding ways to help consumers stay on track with their health and wellness goals, health club operators continue to show that they are entrepreneurial and resilient in any economic environment."

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