Thursday 2 April 2020 9:04 am

Coronavirus: Pets at Home to beat profit expectations after surge in demand

Pets at Home announced it expected full-year profit to beat previous expectations following an “exceptional” level of demand due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The pet store, which has been classified as an essential retailer and is allowed to stay open during the government mandated lockdown – said in-store and online sales had increased as existing customers bought more, as well as attracting new shoppers.

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It added that disruption to its supply chain in Asia, the former epicentre of the virus, had stabilised relatively quickly and product availability held up well. 

Underlying pre-tax profit for the full year is now expected to be “slightly above the top end of the range of current market expectations” of £97.1m. 

Pets at Home said it will not issue guidance for full-year 2021 due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. 

Peter Pritchard, group chief executive, said: “”While full year 2020 has undoubtedly ended strongly for Pets At Home during this unprecedented time, the period ahead is uncertain for us all, and Pets At Home will not be immune to these challenges that we collectively face. 

“I am extremely grateful that our colleagues and operations have shown such resilience and flexibility to meet the recent exceptional level of demand from both existing and new customers.  

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“As ever, in difficult times consumers turn to trusted brands and advice, and that is why we are working tirelessly to ensure that we continue to provide essential products and healthcare services for the UK’s pets.”