1/11/2024 | Leisure

Christie & Co Business Outlook 2024 report reviews the most in demand and active UK leisure markets

Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co, has today launched its annual Business Outlook report, 'Business Outlook 2024', which reflects on key market activity, trends and challenges of 2023 and forecasts what 2024 might bring across the industries in which Christie & Co operates, including the leisure sector.

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The report notes that reductions in household discretionary spending due to the cost-of-living crisis and record-level inflation rates weighed on margins for UK leisure businesses in 2023. However, certain businesses fared better than others due to shifts in consumer spending habits, with businesses comprising a social, experiential, outdoor or staycation-led focus remaining a popular choice for consumers. Additionally, many consumers opted to trade down on leisure experiences rather than forgo activities all together which bodes well for the value end of the market. 

These trends continued to shape buyer appetite across the transactional market, with holiday and residential parks, marinas and garden centres remaining some of the most in demand and active market segments.

The report reveals that in 2023, Christie & Co’s Leisure team advised on over £1.3 billion worth of leisure businesses from these markets and more and offers further insights on each market.

Looking to the year ahead, the report also outlines Christie & Co’s market predictions which are:

  • Investment yields will continue to soften as a result of the greater cost of capital and operational running costs. Leisure businesses within the luxury and value ends of the market will do best in 2024
  • The weakening of sterling from the high of summer 2023 will assist in-bound international leisure and tourism 
  • The forbearance of the high-street lenders is set to continue, whilst alternative lenders and HMRC are likely to force an increase in administrations and receiverships
  • Discretionary spend will continue to be under pressure from most affected demographics – health & fitness will continue to perform strongly as will businesses attracting the grey pound, whereas mid-range family activities such as cinema and adventure golf are likely to remain challenging.

Jon Patrick, Director - Head of Leisure & Development at Christie & Co comments, “Following an increase in transactions in the second half of 2023 and with the cost of capital coming off its peak, we envisage greater participation in the leisure sector this year from private equity and PERE, with an increase in M&A activity as a result. Additionally, we anticipate the number of businesses coming to market involving an element of distress will continue to rise and that the gap between buyer and seller price expectations will narrow.”

Click here to read the full report: https://www.christie.com/news-resources/business-outlook/2024/ 

For further information on this press release, contact:     

Bronte Hughes, Corporate Communications Manager
P: 020 7227 0794 or E: bronte.hughes@christie.com