NEW YORK CITY-Lifetime Fitness has clubs in 17 of the 60 largest US metro areas and is looking in the other 43. “We look to be present in these markets as we look well into the future,” said Michael Robinson, the company’s chief financial officer, here during Piper Jaffray’s annual Consumer Conference.

Prairie Eden, MN-based Lifetime is adding six more units this year to the 62 it currently has in operation, and management has 10 more in the works for 2008. So far this year the company has opened locations in Lakeville, MN and Omaha. Lifetime has units in 14 states, most of them in the Midwest.

Other than entering additional markets, executives are betting on internal growth. Of the 62 locations the company has open, only 32 of them have reached maturity, where they are operating at 90% membership capacity, which management expects to achieve when a club is open for three years. The other 30 are still within their first 36 months of operation.

During the company’s most recently-reported quarter, membership increased 23.7%, to about 475,000 people. “We have not seen the consumer negatively effecting our business at all,” said Robinson, responding to an audience-member question about a possible consumer slowdown.

Revenues in the first quarter, which ended March 31, came in at $153.1 million, a 32.6% jump from the same year-ago period, while year-over-year same-center sales were up 7.5%. Lifetime’s net income was at $14.1 million, a 35.5% increase.

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