Pets at Home has hailed its “resilient performance” and noted “encouraging signs” in the lead-up to Christmas.
Pets at Home posted group underlying profit before tax of £47.8m for the 28 weeks to October 12, 2023, down 19.3% year on year, the result of “continued investment in the platform with higher logistic costs” as well as a brand relaunch.
Total group revenue for the period was up 6.5% from £727.2m to £774.2m, while group like-for-like sales also increased 6.2%.
Sales in Pets at Home’s core retail business were up 5.2% year on year, while in its veterinary division, like-for-likes jumped 17.3%.
The retailer said the early weeks of its third quarter have “started well”, as its distribution centre, which now operates for all stores, has improved availability and sales momentum.
Pets at Home added it has seen “encouraging signs” in the lead-up to the peak Christmas trading period and noted a “good initial sell through” of its Christmas product ranges.
The retailer has maintained its profit guidance of £136m for the full year, despite continuing cosumer uncertainty.
Chief executive Lyssa McGowan said: “H1 has been a critical period in laying the foundations of our platform for future growth. This was the period of high activity when we relaunched our brand, launched our new DC, built our new digital platform, and made progress expanding and improving our physical assets across Retail and Vets.
“This period has not been without challenges, but we have been able to manage these well and are on track to finish FY24 with a refreshed, modernised infrastructure, fit to deliver growth for many years to come. I am incredibly proud of how our colleagues across the business have come together using their expertise and ingenuity to navigate this demanding period.
“I was particularly proud to see this recognised as we were voted “Best Place to Work” in the WorkL awards. We remain absolutely committed to keeping Pets at Home an inclusive and rewarding place to work and made pleasing progress in H1 increasing diversity.
“As we stand today, through our point of peak investment, with the benefits of our new DC and new digital platform still ahead of us, we look to the future with confidence that we can deliver our plan, to build the world’s best pet care platform.”