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Pets at Home delivers strong first half

Pets at Home has said it achieved a strong first half and that it now expects full year underlying pre-tax profit to be at the top… View Article

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Pets at Home delivers strong first half

Pets at Home has said it achieved a strong first half and that it now expects full year underlying pre-tax profit to be at the top end of market consensus.

In the 28 weeks to 10 October, like-for-like sales in the company’s retail business climbed by 7.8% while retail revenue increased by 8.1% to £479.8 million. The retailer’s veterinary group performed particularly well with a revenue uplift of 19.6% to £66.5 million.

Meanwhile, group underlying pre-tax profit on a comparable pre-IFRS16 basis was up 18.9% year-on-year to £45 million.

Peter Pritchard, Pets at Home chief executive, said: “I am very pleased with what we have achieved in the first half of the year.  We have executed our plans well, and this has been reflected in the strong customer sales growth across the group.”

During the period, some 35.4% of Pets at Home’s customer sales came from pet care services as the retailer works to increase this to 50% in time. The company saw strong growth across the different subscription packages that it offers and now has more than 790,000 customers on plans across the group. In addition, Pets at Home’s VIP loyalty club now has a record number of active members at over five million.

Pritchard added: “Our commitment, and that of the group’s joint venture partners, is to make sure pets and their owners get the very best advice, care and products; and this has led to record levels of VIPs, First Opinion practice clients and subscription customers. In short, our pet care strategy is working.”

Pets at Home will open five new stores, grooming salons and vet practices in its second half.

Looking ahead Pritchard said: “All this provides a strong foundation, meaning we have much to look forward to in FY20 and beyond, and we now expect to return to profit growth a year ahead of our original plan. In the meantime, we will remain focused on serving our customers, their pets and our partners better than ever before.”

Attend Retail Bulletin’s Omnichannel Futures Conference on 5 February to hear Peter Pritchard give a keynote speech. Retail Bulletin readers working in retail qualify for a discount of 50% on ticket prices. Just use the code RETAILER50 when booking.

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