Pets at Home sales up 5% to £1.5bn

Wilmslow-based pet and vet retailer Pets at Home Group reported lower profit for the latest financial year, partly due to higher one-off costs, but managed to keep revenue growing despite the cost of living crisis squeezing consumers’ spending on their pets. 

The company, which sells food, toys, bedding, medication and accessories for pets, said total group revenue grew 5% to £1.5 billion for the 52-week period to 28 March. Profit before tax fell 14% to £105 million, due to costs of its transition to a new distribution centre and weakness in demand for discretionary accessories. 

It also announced a £25 million share buyback for this financial year. Its shares rose 4% to 294p on the London Stock Exchange. 

The company made no change to its profit guidance for this fiscal year. It said returning accessories to growth “is a key focus in the year ahead.” 

“Whilst the external trading environment has been subdued, overall pet care spend has proven resilient, and in the year ahead, we should begin to benefit from previous investments and key productivity programs,” it said in a statement. 

Lyssa McGowan, Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our medium-term strategy and financial framework is unchanged and, looking ahead, the fundamental strengths of the business position us well to deliver growth. We hold a leading position in a structurally growing market, with an unrivalled retail store network, and a unique, differentiated and integrated vet business.”

Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Pets at Home has come good on downgraded expectations. The group’s not immune to a challenging consumer environment and has been hit hard by the need to keep prices low in order to stoke growth. Convincing pet owners to part with additional cash for money-makers like accessories has been a far more arduous task then when people feel flush with cash.”