In reporting a 53 percent increase to €98 million in its home fitness segment for the first nine months of this year, Technogym said that its board of directors has approved a new three-year business plan, called Technogym At-Home, that calls for a doubling in the segment’s revenues from a projected level of €150 million for this year.
Despite the jump in home fitness, the company’s consolidated revenues declined by 24.4 percent to €351.5 million in the first nine months of 2020, with a drop of 23.9 percent in constant currencies, mainly due to Covid-19 and the postponement of many projects by gym, spa and hotel operators. The B2B segment fell by 37.0 percent.
Sales declines were recorded in all the regions of the world during the nine-month period, ranging from a drop of 6.5 percent in Italy to a fall of 35.8 percent in Latin America. In two important regions – Asia/Pacific and North America – sales were off by 29.6 percent and 31.9 percent, respectively. The company mentioned a marked contraction in the U.K. and a recovery in France and China during the third quarter. On the other hand, sales at Technogym’s own nine stores went up by 28.4 percent in the first nine months.
Under Technogym’s new development program, the B2C segment is expected to grow from 30 to 50 percent of Technogym’s sales, which would reach a total of €1 billion in the medium term. That’s currently the annual turnover of Icon Health & Fitness, which claims to be the biggest fitness equipment company in the world. It is pushing its connected fitness program and aiming for a possible public offering next year after a new funding round that values it at $7 billion.
Technogym, which is already public, says it is targeting mainly the high-end “prestige” segment of the home fitness market, where it is the only brand available, with a goal of servicing one percent of the people who have a net worth of €15 million or more. It will also address tens of millions of “affluent” customers with new and existing products.
The development of the home fitness segment at Technogym will go hand in hand with the further development of its connected fitness programs.
“If a start-up wanted to create a brand equity comparable to that of Technogym in a few years, hundreds of millions of marketing investments would be required,” said Nerio Alessandri, the founder, chairman and chief executive of the Italian company, evidently pointing to recently launched brands like Peloton or Gymshark.
While growing slightly after its announcement, Technogym’s stock market capitalization of €1.26 billion is much lower than that of Peloton, currently at a level of nearly €34 billion.
Alessandri pointed out that Technogym has been working on home fitness from its start 37 years ago, with the aiming of building an aspiration brand, by creating a multi-station tool for strength training, called Unica, that is still an iconic product. It subsequently created its Personal Line with the contribution of a furniture designer, Antonio Citterio, which won many awards and generated “allure and prestige” for the brand.
Alessandri said that his company wants to deliver for home users the same level of experience that some 50 million people are enjoying in 80,000 wellness centers equipped by Technogym in 100 countries. He added that the coronavirus pandemic is creating a great opportunity for Technogym because it has raised the demand for fitness products in order to prevent diseases.