// Pets at Home now expects profits for its current financial year to reach £140m
// Like-for-like sales surged 28.1% on a two-year basis in the 12 weeks to 30 December as pet owners bought more premium products
Pets at Home has upped its profit guidance for the year as momentum in the business grew over the golden quarter.
The pets specialist now expects underlying pre-tax profit to be at least £140m in its current financial year.
Pets at Home said it benefited from the “humanisation” of pets and a flight to premium products, which led to record sales on seasonal ranges.
Like-for-like sales surged 28.1% on a two-year basis and 8.7% year on year in the 12 weeks to 30 December 2021, with retail the star performer at the group, which also has a vets division.
The retailer has experienced ongoing success with its plan to build a pet care ecosystem. It increased the number of active VIP loyalty scheme members by 13% year on year, 34% on a two-year basis, and boosted its number of Puppy and Kitten Club members by 60% year on year. Its Puppy and Kitten Club members typically spend a third more than non-members.
Online sales almost doubled, up 99.3%, on a two-year basis over the period. The retailer broadened its deliver from store capability over the quarter and approximately one third of all online orders are now delivered this way.
Pets at Home group chief executive Peter Pritchard said: “Our unique, omnichannel pet care strategy continues to deliver strong revenue growth, reflecting continued momentum in customer acquisition, engagement and spend as the benefits of our ongoing investment in capacity and capability really start to deliver.
“We are firmly on track to report a record year of sales and profit growth, and I am incredibly grateful to all of our fantastic colleagues and partners across the group for their hard work and commitment to helping us become the best pet care business in the world.
Pritchard revealed his intention to step down from Pets at Home, where he has been chief executive since 2018, at the end of last year. The retailer said the search for his success is “well advanced”.
Pets at Home also acknowledged that it was facing inflationary pressures across its supply chain but said it was mitigating them through initiatives such as rent reductions, procurement savings and operational efficiencies in order to keep pricing competitive.