Are you one of those New Year's resolution fitness fanatics who vowed that January 1 2017 was going to be the first day of the rest of your life? If you weren't, then I'm sure you know someone who is. You know the type, new tracksuit, new trainers, and keener than keen at the start of the year, only to find their enthusiasm wane just a few short months down the track.
Diehard fitness fanatics will no doubt have seen it all before. The post-Christmas rush in January to get fit in the New Year, slowly fizzling out in February and March, with the number of gym-goers back to where they were the previous year. But of course their membership fees are still leaving their bank accounts each month - that's the beauty of contract-based membership.
But what if there was a pay-as-you-go type of arrangement were there was no contract to sign and membership could just stop and start as required. Well, that's exactly what's on offer at The Gym Group(LSE: GYM). The Guildford-based low-cost gym operator gives its members 24/7 access to almost all its sites across the country, without paying a premium or being tied into a contract.
Disruptive business model
This disruptive business model has been extremely successful so far, with membership numbers swelling to 448,000 at the end of 2016, an increase of 19.1% on the previous year. The fast-growing gym operator opened no fewer than 15 new sites last year, bringing the total to 89, with a further 15-20 new openings earmarked for 2017.
The rapidly expanding estate helped the group to increase full-year revenues by 22.6% to £73.5m, with the company moving back into the black with a pre-tax profit of £6.9m, thereby reversing the £12.4m loss it posted the previous year. The shares may look expensive at 26 times forecast earnings, but this falls to 22 times next year, and in my view is not too demanding given the group's rapidly expanding bottom line.
In recent years, one of the main reasons the Great British public has been so keen to get back on the treadmill is of course overindulgence. And one of our favourite ways to do this is undoubtedly the Great British takeaway. But it isn't just us Brits that like to treat ourselves on a Friday or Saturday night. Takeaway deliveries are becoming increasingly common throughout the world, and are no longer confined to Friday or Saturday night.
One of the company's profiting from this insatiable appetite for fast food is Just Eat(LSE: JE). The online takeaway ordering service reported an impressive 46% rise in first-quarter revenues to £118.9m earlier this month, with total orders up 25% on a like-for-like basis to 39m. The company expects full-year revenues for 2017 to be in the region of £480m-£495m, with underlying earnings of between £157-£163m.
Just Eat's shares are currently trading on a premium P/E rating of 36, but this drops to 26 next year, which is much lower than its three-year average of 65. I see Just Eat as a buy for continued long-term growth.
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Bilaal Mohamed has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Just Eat. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.