By Shane McGinley
Owner of fitness group's Middle East franchise to embark on three-year expansion plan
Dubai’s Landmark Group, owner of the Middle East franchise of global health and gym brand Fitness First, said it is to invest US$150m as part of a three-year regional expansion plan.
The company currently has a network of 48 clubs across 38 locations in the region. It has opened 22 new clubs in the last two years and last year it reported a 33 percent increase in memberships and 30 percent growth in year-on-year sales.
As part of the investment plan, its total number of clubs will increase to 70 by the end of 2015 with new outlets opened in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Turkey during 2013.
Dubai conglomerate Landmark Group bought the Middle East franchise of the UK-based brand in 2010 and announced in October 2011 it planned to spend AED500 (US$136m) expanding it across the Middle East. The new finance will be raised through fresh equity and internal accruals over a three-year period, the company said.
“We are really pleased with the performance of Fitness First in the Middle East. We are committed to bridging the gap in fitness services in the region and meeting the lifestyle aspirations of the community,” said Praveen Bhatnagar, CEO, Landmark Hotels and Wellness.