Pets at Home has revealed a fall in profits for the past six months as it came under pressure from higher freight and energy costs.
The retailer and veterinary services firm said underlying pre-tax profit dropped by 9.3% to £59.2 million over the half-year to October 13, compared with the same period last year.
The company said this was in line with expectations as it held profit targets for the year and hailed a “resilient” pet care market.
Lyssa McGowan, who was appointed chief executive earlier this year, said the performance showed “progress” as the business notched up “new records for customer numbers in recent months”.
Pets at Home said new customer numbers are “strong” after it benefited from an acceleration in people registering for its Puppy & Kitten club membership over the half-year.
It highlighted that consumer demand has stayed strong as a result of record levels of UK pet ownership, despite pressure on household budgets.
The company also told investors on Wednesday that it is actively managing cost headwinds, such as unfavourable foreign exchange rates, energy costs and wage increases.
Ms McGowan said: “In my first six months as CEO, I have spent my time forming a deep understanding of the business and sector, learning from the ground up how the business operates.
“I am more convinced that Pets at Home is well-positioned to capitalise on an attractive growth opportunity in our structurally-growing pet care market, supported by our unique blend of products and services, deeply-embedded culture and expert, passionate colleagues and partners.
“Our first-half performance shows progress and resilience across the business.”