The Gym Group has hailed surging membership and a rise in premium members, as it saw profits jump in the six months to June.

The company saw gym membership numbers bounce 10.6 per cent higher to 790,000, as it continued to open new sites across the UK.

Pre-tax profits for the group rose 53.3% to £7.1 million for the half-year, as it was buoyed by the increase in membership as well as a rise in people choosing more expensive subscriptions.

The Gym Group reported a 26.9% increase in revenues to £74 million, up from £58.3 million for the same period the previous year.

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Revenue and profit growth were driven by the company's rapid expansion, which saw it acquire 13 sites from EasyGym last June and open a further eight new sites during the first half of the year.

It was also significantly boosted by the increase in total membership and increased spend per member.

The average spend per member each month rose by 5.6% to £15.47, from £14.65, as people increasingly subscribed to its premium LIVE IT membership.

The Gym Group said its new openings have met expectations over the start of the year and it is on track to open between 15 and 20 sites in 2019.

This roll-out programme will also see the launch of its first "small box" format as it looks to open mini-gyms in a bid to increase the number of towns it can open in.

Chief executive Richard Darwin said: "Our growing membership visited a record 24 million times in the first half of the year, demonstrating the wide and diverse appeal of The Gym.

"Continued investment in systems, infrastructure and people to scale the business is enabling us to take advantage of the huge growth potential that exists in the low-cost gym market."

McColls has blamed poor summer weather and uncertainty around Brexit for a fall in sales for the 13 weeks to August 25.

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Like-for-like sales fell 2.2% and total sales dropped 3.6% during the period.

It means like-for-like sales in the first nine months of the year for the business are down 0.1% and down 1.2% on a total basis, when stores closed during the year are taken into account.

McColl's chief executive Jonathan Miller said: "This has been a highly unseasonable summer for the retail sector and our sales performance reflects both this and the ongoing macro-economic uncertainty.

"The fundamentals of the convenience channel are strong and our focus remains on good retail execution whilst maintaining strong capital discipline.

"We continue to make operational progress and we anticipate results in line with expectations for the full year."

Recruitment firm Hays was weighed down by the cost of restructuring its European operations and declines in business confidence as its profits dipped in the year to June.

The company reported a 3% dip in pre-tax profits to £231 million for the 12 months to June 30 after it was dented by a £15 million one-off charge after cutting costs related to senior management in Europe.

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Weakening market conditions in some of the company's key markets, such as Germany, Australia and the UK, pressed down on profitability towards the end of the year.

Alistair Cox, chief executive of Hays, said: "We invested in strengthening our leading positions in key markets like Australia and Germany while also restructuring some of our European businesses to maximise their profitability.

"Our UK business delivered a solid result, despite ongoing uncertainties.

"Looking ahead, despite an increasingly tough global economic backdrop, our market positions, combined with our highly experienced global management teams and strong financial position, means I am confident we will continue to appropriately balance our long-term potential with the more challenging markets we currently face."