Pets at Home profits dip after weaker accessories sales

Pets at Home has revealed a dip in profits as it was affected by short-term availability issues and weak sales of some accessories.

The petcare retailer and vet operator nevertheless said it is confident in its growth strategy and is “not threatened” by an ongoing watchdog review into the vet industry.

Shares in the company ticked higher on Wednesday morning.

The Cheshire-based firm revealed a pre-tax profit of £105.7 million for the year to March, down 13.7% on the same period last year.

Lyssa McGowan
Lyssa McGowan, chief executive officer of Pets at Home (Pets at Home/PA)

It comes after the group cut its profit guidance in January in the face of slowing retail demand.

On Wednesday, Pets at Home reported that total group revenues grew 5.2% to £1.5 billion for the year, with 5.1% like-for-like growth.

Retail revenues grew 4% for the period, as it reported continued volume growth in the final quarter, helping to offset slowing inflation in food and “softer” accessories sales.

Meanwhile, it saw continued growth in its vet business, where revenues jumped 16.8% amid the division’s continued expansion.

Nevertheless, it comes amid a backdrop of increased scrutiny over the UK’s vet sector, after Competition and Market Authority raised concerns pet owners could be overpaying for medicines and pushed forward with a full market investigation.

Pets at Home said: “We believe that our vets growth strategy is not threatened by the CMA’s review into the vet sector.

“Our key building blocks for growth support competition and deliver better outcomes for consumers.”

The group held firm its guidance for the new financial year, highlighting “low single-digit” growth in its vet business over the past six weeks, with a 2% decline in retail.

Lyssa McGowan, chief executive officer, said: “Full-year 2024 has been a pivotal year for the business, having delivered some key building blocks of our platform for long-term growth.

“I am proud of the progress we have made in the year; we relaunched our brand, opened our new DC, built our new digital platform, made progress in our sustainability agenda, and enhanced our physical estate.

“The business has come together brilliantly to navigate any challenges faced this year, and we have delivered some key milestones of our strategy.”

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