Pets at Home third quarter performance boosted by strong growth from vet practices
In the 12 weeks to 5 January group like-for-like revenue growth was 0.1% as continued growth in the veterinary services business was offset by more subdued trading across its merchandise business.
Merchandise revenues were flat at £177.4 million while services revenues climbed by 47.8% to £26.3 million.
In a statement the company said its profit outlook for the full year remains in line with market expectations.
Ian Kellett, Pets at Home chief executive, said: "Vet services yet again performed strongly this quarter, where our strategy of providing a quality service to clients across both primary opinion and specialist referral centres is delivering results, and is a platform for continuing strong growth.
“In merchandise, whilst overall sales were softer than anticipated, online grew strongly, reflecting the momentum gained from our investments in seamless shopping.
“We saw a good performance in our Christmas range, where customers are responding to innovative products at great value for money, which we will reflect in new range launches later this year. We will also focus on delivering best value, starting with a very clear message to customers about the benefits of our high quality, UK produced private label foods, where we will be leveraging our competitive advantage.”
The company said its new store and services rollout is on track after it opened two superstores, six vet practices and 11 grooming salons in the period. By the end of the full year, Pets at Home aims to have opened 15-20 superstores, 45-55 veterinary practices and 50-60 grooming salons.
The company said integration of its new veterinary specialist referral hospitals is progressing well, with best practice and cost benefits already being realised across the business.
Kellet added: “With a quarter to go, our profit outlook for the year remains in line with expectations, reflecting both the continued investment in our customer offer and ongoing efficiency initiatives. Our focus on becoming more specialist, and doing the right thing for our customers, remains at the forefront of our strategy.”
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