Pets at Home profits crash 38%

Pets at Home saw underlying pre-tax profits rise 6.1% to £89.7 million in the 52 weeks to March 28. However, profit before tax declined 37.7% to £49.6m as it set aside more than £40m for a huge restructure programme across its vet portfolio.

Group turnover jumped 6.9% to £961m, while like-for-like sales in the retail business were up 5.1%.

Peter Pritchard, Pets at Home’s group chief executive, said: “We are trading strongly and taking share across the pet market. Customers are loving our lower prices, the convenience of subscription packages, high quality veterinary care and pet health plans.

“We launched our pet care strategy last year and we’re already making good progress, bringing our retail and vet businesses closer together. Our commitment is to make sure pets and their owners get the very best advice, care and products, and we’re able to join this up for customers in a way that competitors just can’t.”

Looking ahead, Mr Pritchard said he is confident about the year ahead.

“We expect to see revenue growth ahead of both the retail and vet markets, as we continue to improve our customer offer and take share,” he said.

“Having achieved a competitive pricing position, we expect the profit growth in our retail business to continue. In the vet group, our programme to buy out and run, or close, a small number of practices remains on track.”

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