THE gym chain Fitness First is to shed 120 of its staff across Australia after its British parent company reported a pre-tax loss of more than $1 billion in the year to October 31.
The job losses were announced on Thursday and make up almost 3 per cent of the group's 4357 staff. Eighty-one staff will go from 77 clubs and 39 from the head office in Bondi Junction, the managing director, Pete Manuel, said on Friday.
The parent company, Fitness First Group, reported on Thursday it posted a 3.4 per cent increase in revenue to £608.3 million ($934 million) last year, but club closures and one-off accounting charges led to a slump to a pre-tax loss of £671.5 million, compared with a loss of £82.9 million for the year before.
The company struggled under £550 million of debt but has wiped that out after a debt-for-equity swap this year in which lenders Oaktree and Marathon become its new majority owners.
Fitness First Australia sold 19 clubs, renegotiated leases of six and will close two in Melbourne.
Mr Manuel said there had been a 5 per cent decline in revenue and an 8 per cent decline in membership over the past two years.