The Gym Group has said it will accelerate the opening of gyms this year amid a jump in membership numbers.

The low-cost gym business said it saw “positive” momentum from early in 2023 continue through the rest of the year.

It told investors on Wednesday that its average number of members grew by 8% to 872,000 for the year, compared with 808,000 in 2022.

As a result, revenue for the full year to December 31 increased by 18% to £204 million, as it also benefited from increased demand for its more premium membership package.

During the year, The Gym Group opened six new sites, as well as closing two of its gyms. However, this came after the business opened a record number of gyms – 28 – in 2022.

Chief executive Will Orr told the PA news agency it is focusing openings towards more urban locations as it continues its growth plan.

“We are going to double our openings this year against the six we opened in 2023,” he said.

“There are really good opportunities for us when it comes to high-quality new sites and we are continuing to work on our pipeline.

“We are looking for a good proportion of these to be urban residential sites, including Greater London.

“We will be opening a site on Oxford Road in Manchester, and that is a core type of area where we see opportunities.”

Analysts at Investec said the company’s membership numbers for the past year and debt levels were both better than they had predicted.

The brokerage described the new update as a “strong set” of figures.