Pets at Home yesterday posted a record set of full-year results and said it enjoyed a strong start to the year as owners splashed out more on grooming services and special nutrition products for their pets.
Underlying core earnings for the year to 26 March rose 10 per cent to £121m, in line with expectations, on revenue up 9.6 per cent to £729m.
Sales at stores open over a year were up 4.2 per cent, the firm said, helped by “excellent progress” of its Advanced Nutrition products and services such as grooming and veterinary care.
Chief executive Nick Wood, who owns two Bichon Frise dogs called Oscar and Louis, said the trends in pet nutrition was similar to that in the “human market”, with owners increasingly feeding their pets better quality food such as organic or higher-meat content alternatives.
Food revenues grew 9.8 per cent.
Pets at Home has 400 stores, 179 grooming salons and 330 vetinary practices after buying Vets4Pets in 2013. It aims to have 500 UK stores, more than 700 vet practices and 300 groom rooms in the medium term.
Though still only 11 per cent of revenues, its services arm grew by 25 per cent last year to £63m. As a result the group appointed the division its own chief executive, Sally Hopson, who has led its veterinary arm.