Pets at Home has raised its full-year guidance following a period of “accelerated momentum” in its third quarter of trading.
Based on its current year-to-date trading, as well as assuming no change to its “essential retailer” designation, it now anticipates full-year pre-tax profit to be ahead of its previous guidance, at around £77m.
This includes the previously announced repayment of its business rates relief of £28.9m, which was announced last December.
In its latest trading update, the group also highlighted its “robust” balance sheet and liquidity position, which was “strengthened further” at the end of 2020 through £80m in initial cash proceeds relating to the completion of the disposal of its Specialist Group.
Its raised guidance comes after its half-year results for the period ended 8 October 2020 “highlighted the inherent resilience” of both its pet care model and the underlying pet care market.
The group said these factors were reflected in strong sales momentum across its retail and veterinary operations during its second quarter, despite an “extremely challenging” environment.
The group made the decision to up its guidance after this momentum “accelerated across all channels” during its third quarter, with “high-teens” like-for-like sales growth reported during December.
In its latest trading update, the group said: “While renewed Covid-related restrictions on a national level may constrain trade, we remain an “essential” retailer and the measures we continue to take across our stores, veterinary practices and online operations are ensuring we remain in a strong position to meet all of our customers’ pet care needs.”