Pets at Home has reported a strong start to the year, with first quarter revenues up by 5 percent to £256.5m. The company announced that it is on track with plans open around 10 superstores, 40-50 vet practices and 40-50 grooming salons this year.
Ben Flint, a market analyst at www.cityindex.co.uk, said: “Investors may well lap up another rise in revenue at Pets at Home. But it will likely take more signs of improvement to really get their tails wagging.
“Adjustments to its price offering and more investment in the higher-margin home label appear to have paid off, with like-for-like sales in the under-pressure merchandise division up 1.5%. That’s hardly blistering growth, but represents a continued improvement from the slump recorded in the company’s fiscal third quarter.
“Meanwhile, the veterinary and grooming side of the business continues to perform well, with like-for-like sales in the services division up an impressive 10.5%.”
Overall, services revenue rose by 18.8 percent to £40.1m, including Joint Venture vet practice income, which rose by 19.7 percent to £16.2m.
Ian Kellett, Group Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We are pleased with our positive start to the year, delivered through another period of strong growth in our Vet Group and further momentum in Merchandise trading.
“We have continued our everyday lower price repositioning and reduced the reliance on short term promotional discounts. We remain encouraged by the overall response to our pricing changes and by the number of both new customers and those we have welcomed back.
“We have also strengthened our omnichannel capabilities substantially, with subscription services, Order-In-Store and Click & Collect performing particularly well. This underlines the importance of our store environment where customers benefit from products, services and colleague advice.
“Whilst it is still early in the year, the financial outlook is in line with our expectations. We are confident the investments we are making to grow our veterinary business and to reposition our pricing and deliver everyday value for our customers are creating a strong platform for sustainable future growth.”