// Pets at Home hails “strong sales momentum” in first quarter
// Total group revenue rose 25.7% to £377.8m in the 16 weeks to July 15
// Retail revenue rose 29.1%, with growth across both food and accessories, instore and online
Pets at Home has increased its profit expectations despite “the ongoing impact of the pandemic on operating costs”.
The pets goods retailer hailed a “strong sales momentum” in the first quarter as it witnessed a total group revenue growth of 25.7 per cent to £377.8 million.
In the 16 weeks to July 15, like-for-like revenue was up 30.2 per cent, or 29.4 per cent on a two-year basis, “reflecting continued strong growth across both retail and veterinary operations”.
Retail revenue grew by 29.1 per cent, with growth across both food and accessories, instore and online, despite the reopening of non-essential retail and hospitality sectors during the quarter.
The strong performance across veterinary operations continued through the quarter, with customer sales across First Opinion practices approximately 30 per cent higher on a two-year basis.
The number of profitable practices continued to increase, with the balance of operating loans reducing further post year end.
Meanwhile, the number of subscription plans across the group grew 24 per cent year-on-year to over 1.3 million, generating over £100 million in annualised recurring customer sales.
“Notwithstanding an increasingly challenging cost environment, including the ongoing impact of the pandemic on operating costs, which we continue to estimate at £9 million this financial year, we maintained our price competitiveness through the quarter, with good profit and cash conversion reflecting a higher number of store transactions and strong growth in accessories sales, as well as the strong sales performance from the Vet Group,” Pets at Home said.
“Based on trading year to date we now anticipate that full-year group underlying pre-tax profit will be £130 million, at the top end of the current range of analyst expectations, representing a £42.5 million increase on the prior year.
“The UK pet care market is robust, with the ongoing increase in pet ownership, combined with the prevailing trends of pet renewal, humanisation and premiumisation, creating a long-term tailwind for growth across both the underlying market and our business.
“During the quarter, we continued to invest in our ecosystem and implement initiatives to drive productivity gains across our operations.”