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Pets at Home profits from its indulging consumers


Pets at Home has released its trading update for the 52 week period to 26 March 2015 and it appears that its tennis pals and super squeak rope dog toy are going down a treat. 

The company’s results, aptly titled, “Delivering on expectations for the financial year 2015”, show that ‘expectations’ reached £729.1m in revenues – a boost of roughly 10%.

Pets at Home went public last year but shares in the UK’s largest pet supplies retailer only began improving and reaching above their offer price in February.

Celebrations for the business, founded in 1991, mirror the retailer’s 2014 expansion plans, which saw 25 new store openings and 50 ‘groom rooms’ taking off. These have developed, along with the transformation of the pet industry, into a highly profitable sector – overall worth £4bn.

Pets at Home’s merchandise like-for-like revenue grew 3.7%, while services like-for-like profit growth was 10.7%.

Nick Wood, Chief Executive Officer of Pets at Home commented:

"We are delighted to be delivering on expectations in our first year as a publicly listed company. We have seen strength across both merchandise and services, demonstrating the broad range of levers through which we will successfully deliver further profitable business growth."

The business has also focused on its pet care services, having opened 61 vet practices throughout the year, including Northwest Surgeons in Cheshire which will run as a stand-alone brand.

However, Greg Bromley, a consultant for research firm Conlumino warns that Pets at Home will have to watch out for budget retailers in 2015, as everyone is looking to get in on the sector:

“The retailer is likely to face growing competitive threats, primarily from the grocers and discounters, including Poundstretcher which continues to roll-out its Pet Hut fascia. The retailer will also have to carry on investing significantly into its Services arm, which is growing as a proportion of total revenue”.

He goes on to add:

“However, we believe its pattern of consistent LFL growth is indicative of a business that is clearly well-managed, and this, paired with a coherent, sustainable growth strategy, should be enough to safeguard, and indeed grow its market share in the coming year.”

Published on Tuesday 21 April by Rachel Gee

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