Which companies could make the gains amid a pumping global fitness sector?
Health & Biotech
Health & Biotech
In a world increasingly conscious of health and wellness, the global health and fitness sector has witnessed substantial growth in recent years, with projections indicating a continued upward trajectory.
From fitness equipment to gyms, martial arts and yoga studios to digital platforms enabling people to workout wherever they are, heightened awareness of the importance of healthy living, technological advancements, and an increased focus on preventive healthcare measures has seen fitness, health and wellbeing become big business.
Even amid economic uncertainties and global challenges, the health and fitness market has shown resilience and continuous expansion.
Early days of the Covid-19 pandemic saw many gyms and studios under pressure from lockdowns and social distancing regulations.
As people sought alternative ways to stay fit while adhering to social distancing measures, certain segments of the fitness industry accelerated, including providers of home fitness equipment and virtual workout platforms.
Recent market analysis and industry reports have consistently pointed towards sustained growth within the health and fitness sector, propelled by trends including a rise of personalised fitness regimes, and widespread adoption of wearable fitness trackers and digital platforms.
While the exact growth rates may fluctuate across various segments within the industry, such as fitness equipment sales, wellness services, or digital fitness platforms, the overarching trend remains positive. So which companies could benefit from people prioritising their fitness, health and wellbeing?
Focused on MMA Alta says the sector has experienced a notable increase in participants, fuelled in part by the substantial rise in mass entertainment MMA fandom.
There are now more than 640 million fans globally with gyms surpassing 45,000 and more than 11 million participants in the US alone.
Alta says its has closely monitored the evolving trends in the combat sports industry, especially since the pandemic began in 2020.
Founder and CEO Nick Langton says a heightened focus on fitness, health, and overall wellbeing has led to a growing interest in hybrid training approaches, emphasising the combination of in-gym experiences with at-home training.
The company offers high quality curated online and in-gym experiences through its Warrior Training Program, UFC Fit Program and Alta Academy, which gives athletes access to curated content from leading global coaches.
Langton says for martial arts and combat sports training, Alta acknowledges the critical importance of in-gym training under the guidance of qualified coaches, recognising that nothing can replace the hands-on expertise, community engagement and support culture that is unique to many martial arts and combat sports gyms.
“Growing interest in training martial arts and combat sports is, we believe, correlated to people seeking a deeper community connection, genuine friendships, and more face-to-face interaction through their chosen fitness pursuit,” he says.
“Martial arts gyms are renowned for offering strong and supportive communities which many members have previously struggled to find through traditional fitness gyms.
“Moreover, in a skill-based sport like martial arts, dedication is frequently gauged over the years, fostering enduring friendships.
Langton says Alta is strategically positioned to seize the opportunities presented by this significant growth.
“The company’s commitment to reshaping the industry, bolstered by strategic partnerships with influential figures like Daniel Cormier, Laura Sanko, and Eugene Bareman, positions Alta as a game-changer,” he adds.
Founded in 2015 by Ed Zouroudis and Kelly Weideman, Evolt 360 understands health and fitness is more than a number on a scale and is focused on body composition technology.
Weideman told Stockhead the Evolt 360 BIA is crucial in the concept of preventative health because it provides a comprehensive analysis of an individual’s body composition.
“With the abundance of published literature available now, we now know that understanding more than a scale weight is critical for the management of weight related issues such as obesity and other lifestyle diseases,” she says.
“This also includes measurements of skeletal muscle mass, body fat mass, and visceral fat mass.”
Weideman says, for example, increased skeletal muscle mass is associated with better physical strength, increased metabolic rate, and overall health.
Additionally, managing body fat, especially visceral fat, is important for reducing the risk of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and certain cancers.
“Body composition testing like the Evolt 360 provides a more detailed and accurate picture of body composition health,” she says.
“For instance, two individuals can have the same weight but vastly different compositions of muscle and fat.
“Body composition analysis helps in understanding how much of the body is lean, healthy skeletal muscle versus body fat.”
Weideman says the understanding is crucial for designing personalised fitness and nutrition plans which is crucial to reaching a desired goal.
She says the pandemic significantly altered the landscape of the health and fitness industry with a surge in awareness about the importance of maintaining good health and immunity.
“The future is likely to see a blend of both gym workouts and home fitness regimes,” she says.
Weideman says home workouts have become more popular due to their convenience and the safety they offered from Covid transmission, especially during early days of the pandemic.
“However, gyms provide a community environment and access to specialised equipment as well as the important direction of personal trainers and coaches for an individualised approach,” she says.
“The rise of digital fitness solutions and health monitoring technologies, like Evolt 360, supports both these trends by enabling people to track their health and fitness progress irrespective of their workout location.”
Want some sporting gear, clothes or shoes for your fitness regime? SUL owns four brands including Supercheap Auto, Rebel, BCF and Macpac in the lifestyle categories of auto, sports and outdoor leisure.
Despite a challenging macro environment with higher interest rates and inflation SUL group sales increased by 7% to a record $3.8 billion in FY23. And group normalised EBIT increased by more than 10% to $438 million.
Focusing on SUL’s sporting outlet Rebel in his recent AGM address, Group CEO and managing director Anthony Heraghty says performance sports was its strongest performing category, benefitting from the successful rollout of its “homes of sport” format, key events like the FIFA women’s football World Cup and a rebound in participation in grassroots sport.
Total sales grew by 8% to $1.3 billion for Rebel in FY23. Heraghty says as always, SUL’s H1 FY24 result will be highly dependent on trading in the peak Christmas holiday period.
At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Alta Global Group, and Evolt 360 are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.