// Pets at Home posts pre-tax profit of £38.9m for first half of fiscal 2021
// As an “essential” retailer, Pets at Home says it has adapted its operations to continue providing pet care with minimal disruption
// Group CEO Peter Pritchard: “There is much to be optimistic about.”
Pets at Home saw total group revenue rise 5.1 per cent in the 28 weeks to October 8, to £574.4 million.
The pet specialist retailer said like-for-like revenue rose 5.8 per cent, up 14.8 per cent on a two-year basis.
The business made a pre-tax profit of £38.9 million, compared with £34 million for the same period the year before.
In a mixed bag of results, Pets at Home said it saw a decline in group underlying profit before tax of 5.1 per cent, falling to £39.6 million across the 28 weeks of trading.
“In spite of the ongoing and wide-ranging impact of Covid-19, there is much to be optimistic about,” group chief executive officer Peter Pritchard said.
“The market in which we operate remains resilient, with recent changes to our work and leisure patterns supporting rising levels of pet ownership, a good proxy for future growth in both the underlying market and our business.”
“We are introducing new ways to meet our customers’ needs across all channels, making pet care as affordable, convenient, engaging and flexible as possible, and our customer-centric pet care platform, underpinned by the most extensive and unique proprietary pet dataset in the UK and a true omnichannel backbone, provides us with significant competitive advantages.
“There is much to be proud of over the last six months and much to look forward to in equal measure. While we will continue to remain focused and agile in our execution, we are, more than ever, confident in the resilience and longevity of our pet care platform.”
Pets at Home saw online sales rise 65.8 per cent in the period, with omnichannel revenues accounting for 15.2 per cent of total sales in the first half.
“The last six months of trading have been like no other during my ten years in the business,” Pritchard said.
Pets at Home noted that in the wake of coronavirus it had introduced contactless collection points for customers, implemented additional training for colleagues on the safe provision of services, and enabled delivery of healthcare subscription products direct to home.
Looking ahead, Pets at Home said it had managed to sustain the performance of the first half into the third quarter of its financial 2021 year.
The retailer said it has continued to take market share across all channels, and due to being dubbed an “essential” retailer, it has adapted its operations in order to continue providing pet care with minimal disruption.
Pets at Home added that “at this stage, absent any escalation of restrictions, or other significant disruption to our operations, we now anticipate full-year underlying pre-tax profit to be in line with the prior year 1, with the estimated financial impact of the pandemic not fully offset by this year’s business rates relief.”