Revenue at Pets at Home jumped nearly eight per cent in the last year, as coronavirus-led lockdowns persuaded more households to get a pet.
Revenue at the pet care retailer jumped 7.9 per cent to £1.14bn in the group’s 2021 financial year.
Retail revenue reached £1bn for the first time despite Covid-19 restrictions, and revenue at the group’s vet practice grew 1.6 per cent.
Sales at the retailer jumped 7.7 per cent to £1.43bn, up from £1.33bn the year before.
Profit before tax fell 6.4 per cent to £87.5, which the group put down to adverse Covid-related impacts of approximately £30m and the repayment of £28.9m business rates relief.
Following publication of its results Pets at Home’s share price jumped nearly 1.5 per cent.
Group CEO Peter Pritchard said: “Despite challenges to how we were able to do business, we grew our market share across all channels and our underlying growth trajectory accelerated.
“Our loyalty clubs saw record periods of new customer registration, strong growth in subscription customers increased the visibility and quality of our sales profile, whilst new clients across our veterinary estate helped increase practice profitability and cash flow.
The CEO said Covid-19 had fundamentally changed the pet care market, adding: “We estimate that the rising level of pet ownership, combined with structural demand drivers such as premiumisation and humanisation, has increased the outlook for growth across our addressable market, and in conjunction with our expectations of continuing to take market share, provides a tailwind to the £600m customer revenue opportunity we see across our business over the medium term.”
Pet ownership up 8 per cent
Hargreaves Lansdown senior investment and markets analyst Susannah Streeter said: “The company has clawed opportunity from the soaring popularity for pets during the pandemic, with ownership estimated to be up 8 per cent over the year.
“Lockdowns proved an ideal opportunity for people to settle in a new member of the household. It’s the demand for array of goods and services to keep them fed, watered and entertained which have returned a big stick of revenue to the group.”
She continued: “There is a risk that the jaws of the pet boom could clamp shut as more people return to the world of work once more and put off the purchase of a furry friend.
“But Pets At Home is geared up to supply new pandemic owners with a lifetime of goods and services and has a growing set of data of customers it’s able to draw on to expand its business.”
Ross Hindle, analyst at Three Bridge added: “The UK pet market has grown substantially as home and hybrid workers seek to add pets to their family unit to combat stress, reduce loneliness and aid exercise.
“Our experts say that Pets at Home has brought together an effective omnichannel strategy, on-site veterinary practices, and a premium product range to capture a pet product sales bonanza.
“Pets at Home VIP Puppy and Kitten Club members grew promisingly to 6.2m with growth showing no sign of slowing down. Our experts believe the data-rich insights derived from the membership clubs offer Pets at Home a significant competitive advantage as they seek to capture the full lifetime value of pet ownership, which our experts estimate at around £12,000 for a large pet.”