Pets

Pets at Home continues to benefit from booming ownership as profits hit £70m

The boom in pet ownership continues to help Pets At Home hit new records in sales as dog and cat lovers turn to more premium food and products to pamper their pets, the company said.

Bosses admitted they are still experiencing difficulties in supply chains but despite the issues hitting the entire retail sector, pre-tax profits for the six months to October 7 soared 81.3% to £70.6 million.

Revenues were also up 18% to £677.6 million, including retail sales jumping 21.9% on a like-for-like basis, online sales up 21.5% on a year ago and revenues from its vet group grew 26.2% like-for-like.

Pets at Home saw a surge in grooming sales after being forced to close during the pandemic. (Pets at Home / PA)

The company said it expects to continue benefiting from the rise in ownership, with profits and sales for the year likely to hit the top end of market expectations.

All areas saw growth, including food revenue up 21.4% to £336.7 million and sales of accessories such as dog toys and training devices rose 20.9% to £257.7 million.

Pet owners also wanted to show off their new dogs, with revenues at Pets at Home’s grooming services up 62.2%. The massive jump was, in part, due to all salons closing for 10 weeks during the pandemic a year ago.

At the vet business, like-for-like revenues rose 26.2%, although overall sales fell 14.7% to £56.8 million due to the sale of Pets at Home’s vet hospital business.

Outgoing chief executive Peter Pritchard said: “Our business has never been more robust.

“Our pet care strategy continues to deliver, we continue to take market share and improve spend per customer, and the benefits of our investment in capacity and capability are really starting to deliver.

“Notwithstanding some near-term, industry-wide challenges, we continue to grow ahead of our plans and, based on trading year to date, we are on track to report a record year of sales and profit growth.”

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