Revenue and net income grew by double digits in the third quarter for Life Time Fitness, Chanhassen, MN. But the main topic financial analysts wanted to talk about during today’s earnings call was the company’s attrition rate.
Life Time enjoyed an 11.1 percent increase in revenue to $294.9 million in the third quarter compared to $265.4 million during the same period a year ago. Total revenue for the first nine months of 2012 grew 11.7 percent to $851.6 million from $762.8 million during the same period last year.
Net income for the third quarter was $32.1 million, or $0.77 per diluted share, compared to net income of $27 million, or $0.66 per diluted share, for third quarter 2011 (an 18.9 percent increase). Net income for the first nine months of 2012 was $88.1 million, or $2.10 per diluted share, compared to net income of $72.8 million, or $1.78 per diluted share, for the same period last year (a 21 percent jump).
“I am very pleased with all these metrics we just listed,” Life Time founder and CEO Bahram Akradi told analysts today. “We are very bullish on our healthy way of life branding. We also have an intense focus on the growth of our core business. We’re excited about our pipeline of new centers that will further strengthen our membership base.”
Akradi was not satisfied, however, with the company’s attrition rate. Life Time CFO Michael Robinson presented attrition numbers both including and excluding memberships at Life Time’s new clubs that it acquired last year from Lifestyle Family Fitness. Increased attrition at those clubs was expected, Robinson said, as dues for those clubs were raised by 20 percent in some cases and by more than 100 percent in other cases.
For the third quarter, Life Time had a 10.3 percent attrition rate including the Lifestyle clubs and a 9.8 percent attrition rate without them, up from 9 percent in the same period last year. For the year, Life Time has a 37.3 percent attrition rate including the Lifestyle clubs and a 36.3 percent rate without, up from 35.3 percent for the first nine months of 2011.
Akradi told analysts that the attrition rate is stabilizing and that he did not expect to maintain last year’s 35 percent attrition rate, which exceeded the company’s expectations.
Life Time had 105 clubs as of Sept. 30, 2012, compared to 92 clubs it had on Sept. 30, 2011.
Memberships grew to 695,271 on Sept. 30, 2012, a 6.4 percent increase from 653,300 memberships on Sept. 30, 2011. Excluding memberships acquired in the Lifestyle deal, memberships grew 3 percent during that time.
Revenue for 2012 is expected to be up 11 percent to 12 percent, or $1.127 billion to $1.137 billion (compared to a previous guidance of $1.122 billion to $1.137 billion). Net income is expected to be up 24 percent to 25 percent, or $114.5 million to $116 million (compared to a previous guidance of $113 million to $116 million).
Life Time completed the integration and rebranding of the acquired Lifestyle clubs during the third quarter. Also, the company expanded plans in connection with its previously announced acquisition of the Atlanta-based Racquet Club of the South by incorporating enhanced fitness and nutrition programs, services and membership opportunities as part of the overall renovation of the tennis complex.
No specific plans for expansion were discussed during today’s call, but earlier in the month, Life Time formally announced it was building a new club in Harrison, NY, that is scheduled to open in the summer of 2014. Life Time also has plans for its first California club in Orange County, CA, and its first Philadelphia-area club in Mount Laurel, NJ.
Life Time’s stock was trading at $43.15 on the New York Stock Exchange during midday trading after the stock opened at $44.77.