EuropeActive and Deloitte publish European Health & Fitness Market Report 2020

European fitness market continues to grow

  • European health and fitness club memberships grew by 3.8% to 64.8 million in 2019, strengthening fitness as the #1 sports activity in Europe
  • Total fitness club revenues were € 28.2  billion (+ 3.1% at constant currency)
  • The number of facilities increased by 2.3% to 63,644 
  • Consolidation continues; The top 30 European fitness club operators accounted for 17.2 million members (+11.9%), representing 26.5% of all memberships
  • Merger and acquisition activity was strong in 2019 with 17 major M&A transactions in the operator market identified for this report

According to the report, the European health and fitness market continued to grow strongly in 2019 as the total number of health and fitness club members increased by 3.8% to almost 65 million. In total, the sector welcomed 2.4 million new members.

With a membership growth of 5.1% to 11.7 million members, Germany strengthened its position as the country with the highest number of members ahead of the United Kingdom (10.4 million), France (6.2 million), Italy (5.5 million) and Spain (5.5 million).

Top 5 European fitness markets by membership

Rank Country Membership Growth (vs. 2018)
1 Germany 11,660,000 + 5.1%
2 United Kingdom 10,390,000 +4.9%
3 France 6,190,000 +3.9%
4 Italy 5,510,000 +0.9%
5 Spain 5,508,000 +3.3%

Notes: Figures as of 31.12.2019
Sources: EuropeActive/Deloitte

In terms of market penetration, Norway and Sweden rank highest with 22.0% of the total population holding a fitness club membership. Other countries with high fitness club penetration include Denmark (18.9%), the Netherlands (17.4%), Finland (17.2%) and the UK (15.6 %).

Overall, 8.1% of the total European population were health or fitness club members, with a penetration rate of 9.7% for people aged 15 years and older. Thus, the high penetration rates in most Northern and Central European countries were partly offset by lower market penetration in many Southern and Eastern European fitness markets.

With 2.22 million members, Basic-Fit became the number one operator in Europe, both in terms of members and clubs, ahead of RSG Group with 2.05 million members. Pure Gym (1.35 million), clever fit (950,000), and The Gym Group (794,000) completed the top 5.

Top 5 European operators by membership

Rank Operator Membership Growth (vs. 2018)
1 Basic-Fit 2,220,000 +20.7%
2 RSG Group (McFIT, High5, JOHN REED) 2,050,000 +5.1%
3 Pure Gym 1,135,000 +12.2%
4 clever fit 950,000 +31.9%
5 The Gym Group 794,000 +9.7%

Notes: Figures as of 31.12.2019
Sources: EuropeActive/Deloitte

Top 5 European operators in terms of revenues

Premium operator David Lloyd Leisure again generated the highest revenues with EUR 587 million. Low-cost operator Basic-Fit (EUR 515 million) came in second, followed by SATS Group (EUR 405 million), Swiss operator Migros Group (EUR 367 million), and RSG Group (EUR 365 million).

Herman Rutgers, EuropeActive board member and co-author of the report, commented:
“2019 was another year of continued growth for the sector. It was good to see above average growth in the three largest markets. It was also interesting to observe strong growth in franchise concepts in both convenience clubs as well as boutiques. We remain confident to reach the industry goal of 80 million members by 2025.”

The European Health & Fitness Market Report 2020, the ninth joint publication of EuropeActive and Deloitte, represents the most comprehensive report on the European health and fitness market and serves as a valuable source of information for industry stakeholders. This report was made possible by the generous support of Basic-Fit, Exerp, GO fit, FIBO, IHRSA, Myzone, Technogym, Virtuagym and YANGA Sports Water.

The full report (134 pages) is available for EUR 299 (EuropeActive members only EUR 149,50) and can be ordered through EuropeActive’s Knowledge Centre.

Purchase the report here
Special note on COVID-19
This report covers the calendar year 2019, however we would like to address briefly the dramatic developments in relation to the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease that is also heavily impacting Europe. Today, March 18, 2020 we have to finalize this report as it needs to go into final layout and printing in order to be ready for our release as planned on April 2nd.

As you will read in this report, the year 2019 was again an excellent one for the sector and we know from discussions with leaders in the industry that also the 1st quarter of 2020 had started very well.
But in the last weeks we started to see initial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is by now impacting our sector in an unprecedented way.

In many countries health and fitness facilities have been ordered to close temporarily by governments or have closed voluntarily. In some countries, even a complete “lock-down” of society has been imposed and people have to stay at home. 

The good news is that our sector has evolved in the digital era and developed many different ways for members beyond the clubs to stay active anywhere and anytime. Many operators are experimenting with “digital fitness” by offering online classes or are encouraging their members to use the possibilities to exercise at home, taking advantage of the many apps and online exercise videos that are available.
We encourage everyone to stay strong and wish you all the very best in these challenging times. 

Herman Rutgers & Karsten Hollasch

Detailed information for press and commercial use can be requested to Carlos Fernández, via communications@europeactive.eu. Photos, logos and other materials supporting this press release are available via the said email address as well.