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Virgin Active posts record earnings

The health-club chain Virgin Active has reported annual earnings of more than £100m, the highest in

The operator, majority owned by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group, reported £391m in revenue for 2009, up 15 per cent over the previous year. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were up 18 per cent to £101.1m.

Like-for-like revenues went up by over 10 per cent and net debt fell to about £170m.

Virgin Active, with its 187 clubs spread over Britain, Italy, Spain, Portugal and South Africa, saw the total number of members grow by 4 per cent to 919,000 over the year.

Speaking about the group's resilience during the recession, chief executive Matthew Bucknall said it confirms their view that "health and fitness has become a core aspect to people's lives."

Virgin Active clubs charge about £47 a month in the UK.