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Pets at Home sales top £1bn for the first time

Total annual revenue at Pets at Home exceeded £1bn for the first time in its history, increasing 10.2% to £1,058.8m in the full-year ended 26 March 2020 . 

Like-for-like revenue also surged 9% during the period, while retail like-for-like revenue was up 9.4%, marking a 15% rise on a two-year basis. 

It comes as an “exceptional” fourth quarter of trading delivered a full-year profit that was “ahead of expectations”, after like-for-like revenue surged 15.9% in the quarter. 

Annual omnichannel revenue increased by 27.8%, or 83% on a two-year basis, which “reflected a previous investment in capacity and fulfilment”. 

Underlying profit before tax also saw an increase in the latest full-year results, rising 11% to £99.5m on a pre-IFRS16 basis.

In addition, the group confirmed it has a “resilient balance sheet” with “significant” liquidity headroom, with approximately £162m in total liquidity and an additional £100m facility agreed with its lenders. 

Nonetheless, Pets at Home noted that the “exceptional demand” witnessed in the closing weeks of its fourth quarter was “unwound” during the first quarter of the current year which, after the nationwide lockdown, “temporarily depressed” normal levels of group turnover.

Despite online sales remaining at “materially elevated levels”, they were “unable to mitigate the reduced level of in-store sales”.

Alongside an additional £5m of costs relating to the group’s initial Covid-19 response, the retailer said the crisis has had an “adverse effect” on profits, margins and cashflow in the financial year to date

As a result, it now expects profit in the first-half of 2021 to be “materially below” the prior year.

Peter Pritchard, group CEO, said: “In normal circumstances, it would have given me great pleasure to reflect on another year in which we have grown sales and profits and successfully executed our proven pet care strategy. 

“These are, however, far from normal circumstances with the rapid, wide-ranging and devastating effects of Covid-19 having an unprecedented impact on all of our lives.”

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