And the chain’s longer-term boost was confirmed by announcing sustained demand. Total sales for the 16 weeks from April to the end of July rose 7.1% to £404.7 million. Revenues from its main retail business are up 6.6%. But revenue for the company’s veterinary arm jumped more than 11% over the period.
Lyssa McGowan, Managing Director of Pets At Home, said: “Our performance remained strong in the first quarter, supported by continued customer growth and high levels of retention.”
The company registered 1.1 million new customers last year.
The number of owners joining Pets At Home’s puppy and kitten club – a subscription service – is still averaging 25,000 a week, three times as many as before Covid.
It also reported a record number of loyalty club members, growing 10.7% year-over-year to 7.4 million people paying for the service.
High inflation has impacted activity in recent months, with rising commodity and energy prices.
But it plans to cut costs and improve operational efficiency and avoid price hikes for customers, bosses said.
Matt Britzman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The pandemic fueled pet ownership craze has been a blessing for Pets At Home and these cats and dogs will need to be cared for long into the future. “
Broker Shore Capital called the results “an impressive statement in a difficult consumer environment given that the company faced difficult comparisons affected by the pandemic.”
London-listed Pets at Home expects full-year underlying pre-tax profit to be in line with analyst consensus, which is currently £131m, with a range of 127-136 million pounds.
Despite continued sales growth, the company’s share price has fallen by more than a quarter since the start of the year.
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