Pets at Home benefits from surge in pet ownership
Pets at Home has said a surge in pet ownership during the coronavirus pandemic has helped it to achieve record annual sales.
In the year to 25 March, the retailer’s retail revenue passed the £1 billion mark for the first time after it climbed by 8.7%. Meanwhile, group revenue grew by 7.9% to £1.14 billion.
Looking at the retailer’s veterinary operations, practices signed up an average of 9,000 new customers a week and increased their revenue by 1.6% in the year. In addition, Pets at Home saw a 61% year-on-year uplift in new members joining its Pets at Home Puppy and Kitten clubs.
Although group underlying pre-tax profit declined by 6.4% to £87.5 million when £30 million in Covid-related revenue restrictions and costs were factored in, statutory profit grew year-on-year to £116.4 million after the inclusion of £30.2 million relating to profit on the disposal of five specialist referral hospitals.
Pets at Home chief executive Peter Pritchard said: “This has been the most extraordinary period in my 35 years in retail. The pandemic has brought about permanent changes to the way we work and spend our leisure time, removing historical barriers to pet ownership and strengthening the emotional bond between people and their pets.
“I am pleased to say that thanks to our unique pet care ecosystem and the tireless efforts of our colleagues we have taken a greater share of this growing market and are emerging from the pandemic a stronger business.”
During the period, Pets at Home launched new services such as Deliver to Car across 150 stores and introduced a one-hour click and collect service nationwide. In the coming year, it also plans to invest £70 million in transforming its stores, growing its digital and data expertise, and developing a major new national distribution centre.
Pritchard added: “Looking ahead, through the investments we are making and the enlarged pet population, we see a further £600 million customer revenue opportunity over the medium term. We believe that we are better with pets and will continue on our journey to become the best pet care business in the world.”
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