Pets at Home Store

Source: Pets at Home

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Profits have fallen at Pets at Home despite revenues growing at the petcare retailer, but the group still held its forecast for the new financial year.

Revenues increased 5.2% to £1.5bn in the year to 28 March 2024, with the retail side up 4% to £1.3bn and the vet operation rising 16.8% to £146.5m.

Volumes continued to grow for the retail arm but the business experienced a softer performance within accessories.

Underlying pre-tax profits fell 3.2% year on year to £132m as a result of issues with short-term availability as the group moved to a new distribution centre, which also held back sales in the second quarter.

Pre-tax profits sank 13.7% to £105.7m after being hit by costs of £26.3m, mostly reltaed to the DC transition.

However, Pets at Home held profits guidance steady for 2024/25 at £144m and said that while the external trading environment has been subdued, overall pet care spend had proven resilient.

In the first six weeks of the new year, the vet division has recorded low double-digit growth and retail declined 2% as expected.

CEO Lyssa McGowan said 2023/24 had been “a pivotal year” for the business, with some “key building blocks” for long-term growth put in place.

“I am proud of the progress we have made in the year; we relaunched our brand, opened our new DC, built our new digital platform, made progress in our sustainability agenda, and enhanced our physical estate,” she added.

“The business has come together brilliantly to navigate any challenges faced this year, and we have delivered some key milestones of our strategy.

“Our medium-term strategy and financial framework is unchanged and, looking ahead, the fundamental strengths of the business position us well to deliver growth. We hold a leading position in a structurally growing market, with an unrivalled retail store network, and a unique, differentiated and integrated vet business.

“We know the nation’s pets better than anyone else, with over 10 years of analytical data on 10 million pets, and we now have a best-in-class digital platform, and a modern efficient DC.”

Shares in the group rose 1.1% to 286.4p as investors focused on the future outlook.

Morning update

The FTSE slipped 0.1% to 8,249.75pts this morning.

Naked Wines continued it ongoing rally, climbing 3.8% to 67p as markets opened.

Other risers so far included PayPoint, up 2.7% to 562p, andGlanbia, up 2.3% to €18.50.

Fallers included McBride, down 3.6% to 116.1p, Just Eat Takeaway, down 2.6% to 1,032p, and Ocado, down 2.6% to 399.6p.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 slipped 0.8% to 8,254.18pts following the bank holiday.

There wasn’t much fmcg market news to drive share movements.

However, a rally is under way at Ocado, with the stock up 8.4% yesterday to 405p. It is now 13.6% higher in the past five trading days, but is still down 45% so far this year.

Naked Wines also continued a recovery, up another 5% to 64.6p, taking its rally to up by 24.2% in the past week.

Other risers included PZ Cussons, AG Barr and Pets at Home, up 5.6% to 117.2p, 4.4% to 623p and 3.1% to 283.4p respectively.

Virgin Wines led the fallers, down 6.3% to 45p, while SSP continued to plunge another 3.2% to 172.7p, Fever-Tree Drinks fell 4.4% to 1,128p and Nichols dropped 3.9% to 990p.