Planet Fitness Opened a Record 210 New Clubs in 2017, Reported 13 Percent Revenue Growth

Planet Fitness reported fourth quarter 2017 revenue of $134 million, a 15.1 percent increase from the same period last year.(Photo by Andrew H. Walker.)

The company reported its same-store sales grew 11.6 percent during the quarter and 10.2 percent for the year. In total, Planet Fitness added 210 locations in 2017 (an all-time annual record), 88 of which opened in the fourth quarter and 206 of which were franchised locations. As of Dec. 31, 2017, the company claimed 1,518 clubs worldwide.

In the earnings report, CEO Chris Rondeau said 2017 marks the 11th consecutive year of positive system-wide same-store sales growth for Planet Fitness. 

"Our business has continued to accelerate, which is a testament to the growing strength of our brand and the appeal of our affordable, non-intimidating fitness offering, especially with casual and first-time gym users," Rondeau said. "[W]e've continued to build on our leading market share position through effective national and local advertising programs and expanding our geographic footprint in new and existing markets. We begin the New Year with great brand momentum and numerous opportunities to further grow our business in the near and long-term, including significant store development opportunities, increased brand and marketing investments, and using technology to enhance member experiences."

Quarterly franchise segment revenue grew 24.6 percent to $40 million, corporate segment revenue increased 8.7 percent to $26 million and equipment segment revenue increased 12.8 percent to $65.8 million.

Planet Fitness reported more than 1.7 million new club members in 2017, according to the earnings report. 

In a call with analysts detailing the financials, Rondeau noted that in 2017 Planet Fitness spent $34 million on national marketing campaigns and high-profile partnership opportunities such as its sponsorship of the New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square. He estimated that franchisees spent approximately $100 million locally last year.

A January brand health study confirmed that brand and ad awareness levels are at their highest observed level to date, according to Rondeau.

"Planet Fitness continues to rank number one in aided and unaided brand awareness in the gym category," Rondeau said. "In addition, findings show that consideration for joining Planet Fitness’s is higher when people are aware of our Times Square and New Year’s Eve partnership up six percentage points year-over-year."

In January 2018, the company announced it has signed agreements to open another 1,000 clubs across the United States, half of which will open in the next three years.

Also in January, Connecticut-based Planet Fitness franchisee group ECP-PF Holdings purchased 10 additional clubs and announced plans to open 50 more locations.

Planet Fitness ranked seventh on Club Industry's Top 100 Health Clubs of 2017, with a 2016 reported revenue of $378.2 million. The company is the highest-ranking franchisor on the list.

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