The financial viability of the fitness industry in Belgium

D. Breesch, S.B. Vos, J. Scheerder

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    – The purpose of this paper is to analyze whether the fitness industry in Belgium is financially viable in its position as a growing commercial player within the framework of the European sport model where non-profit and public sport providers still have a strong impact.
    – The authors evaluate the financial performance of the Belgian fitness industry using a time-trend analysis applying a cross-sectional research design for the years 2002 through 2007.
    – The analysis shows that the Belgian fitness industry is not able to generate positive income figures despite large increases in sales revenues. In particular fitness chains generally accumulate losses. However, the Belgian fitness industry pursues an active investment policy resulting in high noncash expenses in depreciations negatively influencing accounting profit numbers. The operating cash flow generated by the Belgian fitness industry is, nevertheless, largely positive. Although no immediate liquidity problem exists, the fitness industry needs to improve its profitability in the long run in order to stay in business.
    Research limitations/implications
    – This study can be a starting point for further and more in depth financial performance evaluations of commercial actors in the field of sport. Differences and similarities between European countries should be investigated in order to generalize the findings.
    Practical implications
    – The conclusions could support regulators in policy decisions and business managers in strategic decisions relying on financial information in order to pilot their organization.
    – Analyzing the financial performance of a sport industry at a national scale is challenging. However, this kind of analysis is not frequently performed for commercial sport providers such as the fitness industry. This is precisely where this paper wants to contribute.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)365-385
    Number of pages21
    JournalSport, Business and Management
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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