Life Time Fitness increased revenue by 11.1 percent in second quarter 2011 and is expected to hit $1 billion in revenue by the end of this year as the company accelerates its growth, according to financials released by the company Thursday.

Life Time’s second quarter revenue of $256.7 million was an 11.1 percent increase from the $231.1 million it had in the same period last year. Net income for the quarter was $24.9 million compared to net income of $21.9 million in second quarter 2010.

For the six months ended June 30, 2011, revenue grew 10.3 percent to $497.3 million from $450.9 million during the same period last year. Net income for the first six months of 2011 was $45.8 million compared with $39.7 million for the first six months of 2010.

Along with the increased revenues, Life Time had higher memberships and the company lowered its debt, leading Bahram Akradi, chairman, president and CEO at Life Time, Chanhassen, MN, to state in a call with analysts on Thursday that the company will now focus on accelerating growth.

“We will deliver this growth in several ways, including growing units and square footage and providing more programming and options that furthers our healthy way of life company objectives,” Akradi said. With a combination of these and other growth initiatives, Akradi expects that Life Time will deliver low double-digit growth in 2012.

The accelerated growth will come partially through dues growth in existing centers and growth of the 19 businesses that the company operates within its centers, Mike Robinson, CFO, said in the call. However, unit growth, both new builds and conversions, also will drive this. Life Time currently has three centers, representing just over 4 percent square footage growth, under construction for 2012. The company is targeting 6 percent plus square footage growth for the year with the difference coming from acquisitions planned for completion in the next year.

Akradi would not offer specifics on acquisition possibilities, but he said that the long gestation time on the company’s out-of-the-ground big box facilities is long, so the company is looking for facilities that fit the logistics and strategic plans of Life Time as acquisition candidates.

During the call with analysts, Akradi made special note of the lower attrition numbers for the company. Attrition for the second quarter was 8.1 percent compared to 8.4 percent in second quarter 2010. The trailing 12-month attrition was 35.8 percent, falling below the company’s goal to reduce attrition below 36 percent.

“I am very pleased with these results,” Akradi said. “They indicate that the strategies we deployed over the last few years have been clearly successful. The quality of our places, our people and our programs define Life Time as a healthy way of life company and establishes its own category.”

Life Time is on its way to accomplishing the 2011 objectives laid out at the beginning of the year, Akradi said. The company is nearly at its desired leverage ratio of debt to EBITDA of two to one. On June 30, Life Time renewed its revolver credit facility, extending the maturity date to June 30, 2016, and increasing the amount to $660 million from $470 million.

“In fact, we have commitments from banks totaling nearly $900 million,” Akradi said. “This speaks volumes about the strength of our balance sheet and cash flow.”

The company has an accordion feature on the revolver credit facility that would allow it to potentially increase the facility by an additional $240 million. The structure of the facility is more flexible in certain areas including acquisitions, dispositions, acquiring new debt, debt retirement, dividends and share repurchases, Robinson said.

“We are very pleased with the terms and feel this facility will be the foundation of our capital structure for the next several years,” he said.

NEXT PAGE: DEBT DECREASES

Total debt decreased $8 million in the second quarter, according to Robinson. As of June 30, Life Time had $402 million outstanding, including letters of credit on its $660 million revolver. That leaves approximately $269 million in cash and revolver availability.

On April 4, Life Time retired in full 10 mortgage loans totaling $69.6 million, using its revolver and cash flow from operations to fund the retirement.

As of June 30, Life Time had 92 open centers compared to 88 on June 30, 2010. With the 10 mortgages being released, Life Time now owns 51 unencumbered centers with a net book value of approximately $1.2 billion.

Memberships grew 5.1 percent to 664,307 at June 30, 2011, from 631,862 at June 30, 2010. Membership dues revenue grew 9.2 percent for the quarter, which outpaced membership growth of 5.1 percent.

“Our goal is to have continued dues growth in excess of membership growth,” Robinson said. “One element of our growth strategy is to prudently take price and improve our membership mix to drive higher dues per center. These results prove we are doing that. Our powerful dues stream accounts for 65 percent of our revenue.”

With the higher dues growth, the company also increased in-center revenue by 17.3 percent for the quarter by increasing its products and services, driving members to use these services through its LT Bucks affinity program and continually enhancing its connectivity initiatives, Robinson said.

“Our focus is to drive more member involvement, which we expect will improve member retention and customer satisfaction,” Robinson said.

Life Time's stock closed on Thursday at $43.29, up from its close of $40.06 the day prior. It is down from its year high of $44.23 on Feb. 11.