Pets At Home raises profit guidance after strong year

Britain’s leading pet care business has told investors it expects annual profits to be “slightly above” market expectations after a sharp rise in sales in recent weeks.
The company said in a trading update yesterday that sales rose 9.9 per cent year-on-year to £303 million in the 16 weeks to July 18. This included an 8.2 per cent rise in like-for-like sales in its shops and a 6.2 per cent rise in its vet business.
Pets at Home was founded with a single outlet in Chester in 1991 and listed on the stock market in 2014. It operates 452 pet shops stores in Britain as well as 444 vetinary practices, some of which are instore and some of which are standalone, and four specialist referral centres. Last month the company bought a stake in online pet-sitting and walking service Tailster, which has 26,000 registered minders.
Shares in Pets at Home rose by 0.6, or 3 per cent, to 216.2p yesterday.
The market consensus for the company’s underlying pre-tax profits for the financial year to the end of March was previously between £79 million and £90 million. This compares to £89.7 million in the last year.
Peter Pritchard, chief executive of Pets at Home, said: “At this early stage in the year, and with ongoing uncertainty across the wider retail sector, we remain cautiously optimistic and focused on delivering our pet care strategy.”

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