Premium petfood player Lily’s Kitchen delivered a revenue jump of more than 30% last year, as it continued to ride the post-pandemic boom in pet ownership.

Revenues at the natural petfood brand, which was snapped up by Nestlé in April 2020, shot up 31.6% – from £55.4m to £72.9m – in the year to 31 March 2022.

Growth was driven by UK retail channel expansion and a deepening of its push into overseas territories, it said.

Core operating profits were up to 9.4m from £3.5m, excluding a one-off £106m gain from the Nestlé sale in the previous period. Profits were driven by sales growth, increased brand awareness and returns on previous investments.

Over the past year, the group has made its debut in more than 760 Co-op stores in the UK, as well as launching into Ireland. It is planning to add several more markets during the current year as part of a five-year plan to expand across Europe.

“The recent boom in pet ownership has no doubt contributed to this growth, which presented us with an opportunity to capture a new generation of pet parents,” Lily’s Kitchen CEO Nick Magalini told The Grocer.

He also said the premium pet segment was well positioned to ride out pressure on consumer spending, commenting: “Data also suggests that pet parents continue to see the value in purchasing the best food they can for their furry family members, even if it means cutting back elsewhere in their own lives.”

The group also continues to invest in NPD, and next month will launch a limited edition Be My Valentine recipe for cats and dogs will add its limited edition Carnival Chicken recipe for dogs as a core SKU.

“We also have a new range of products for dogs launching later this year which will reinforce our position as a leader in quality, taste and nutrition,” he said.

“At Lily’s Kitchen we’re committed to inspiring pet parents to feed their pets proper food, and including pets in all family meal occasions. Therefore, our priority is to continue to innovate new products that align with our customers’ values and lifestyle.”