March 23 (Reuters) - Dutch discount gym chain Basic Fit reported a 34 percent rise in annual core earnings (EBITDA) and a record number of club openings in its first full-year results since listing in June 2016.
Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, amortisation and depreciation rose to 80.4 million euros ($86.8 million) which was mainly a result of an increase in the number of clubs, the company said on Wednesday.
Basic-Fit, Europe's largest low-cost gym group, has rapidly expanded across European capitals, employing fewer staff and more basic equipment than traditional gyms. Members can exercise with videotaped instructors, rather than paying for live classes.
The company listed in Amsterdam in June, with its shares priced at 15 euros each. Its shares were 0.7 percent higher by 0805 GMT on Thursday.
In 2016, Basic Fit opened 81 clubs, above its medium-term target of 65-75 new clubs per year, bringing the overall number to 419, located in growth markets France and Spain and its Benelux core market.
The company forecast 100 new openings in 2017, of which about 60-70 will be in France, where it is aiming for a leading market position similar to the one it currently has in home markets Belgium and the Netherlands. The company plans an additional 10 clubs in both Belgium and the Netherlands before the end of the year.
"Given the accelerating openings we see upside to our FY17 revenue forecasts," Morgan Stanley analyst Jamie Rollo, who has an "overweight" recommendation on the shares, said.
Basic Fit remains loss-making on a net basis, reporting an annual net loss of 32.4 million euros, following 2 prior years of smaller losses. The company said it would make a net profit in 2017. ($1 = 0.9259 euros) (Reporting by Wout Vergauwen. Editing by Jane Merriman)