Pets at Home shares up 25% on strong trading update

Shares of Wilmslow-based pet and vet retailer Pets at Home Group plc rose about 25% on Thursday after it published a trading update for the first half of its financial year.

The company said its expects full-year underlying pre-tax profit to be ahead of current market expectations.

Shares of Pets At Home have soared around 75% over the past 12 months to give the firm a current stock market value of almost £2 billion.

“Our Q1 FY21 trading update on 31 July, covering the 16-week period from 27 March to 16 July 2020, highlighted that the last eight weeks of the quarter had seen sales momentum returning across all areas of the business, reflecting normalisation of shopping habits amongst customers as well as the re-instatement of services and permitted procedures across our retail and veterinary operations,” said Pets at Home.

“This momentum has continued across both our retail and veterinary operations during Q2 FY21, delivering double-digit LFL growth in customer sales into and through the eight weeks to 10 September 2020. 

“This is testament to several factors, not least the inherent resilience in our pet care model and the underlying pet care market. 

“We continue to benefit from the adaptability of our operations to changes in customer behaviour and preferences, our continuing investment in omnichannel capacity and customer acquisition channels, and the clear advantages of our unique owner-managed First Opinion veterinary model.  

“Although COVID-19 continues to create a number of material uncertainties around the trading environment, including the risk of a second lockdown, based on trading year to date, and as a consequence of the sustained strength in performance we have seen, we now expect full-year underlying pre-tax profit to be ahead of current market expectations.

“Our balance sheet and liquidity remain strong.

“We will announce our FY21 interim results on 24 November 2020.”