Pets at Home's share price is on the hop this morning after it made a flying start to the new financial year.
Like-for-like sales for the 16 weeks to 1 April grew 2.7 per cent.
Total revenue came to £256.5m. The retailer's merchandise revenue, which grew 2.8 per cent in the period, totalled £216.4m. Sales in Pets at Home's services division, which includes vet services, jumped 18.8 per cent to £40.1m.
At time of writing, Pets at Home's share price had climbed 7.8 per cent to 186p.
Why it's interesting
Pets at Home's sales sagged in the second half last year, but the retailer has been taking action to make sure it starts this financial year on the front foot. It has been reducing prices to protect its market share, and has been building on its in-store offering for pet owners, who can now access grooming and vet services in superstores.
George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "The UK pet market is steadily growing, and the bond between a pet and its owner should mean the group's cash-generative business model is resilient regardless of any turbulence in the wide economy."
What Pets at Home said
Ian Kellet, Pets at Home's group chief executive, said: "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."