Pets at Home has reported a rise in half-year profits after “stronger than expected” growth in pet ownership boosted sales.  

Pets At Home

The specialist retailer said underlying pre-tax profit surged 77% to £70m in the 28 weeks to October 7.

Group sales climbed 18% to £678m during the period, as revenues raked in from its core retail business jumped 22% to £620.

Retail like-for-likes rose 22% year on year and were up 29% on pre-pandemic levels.

Pets at Home attributed the gains to “stronger than expected and continuing growth” in the number of pets during the past 18 months – a surge that has been driven by the coronavirus pandemic.

The number of pet care plan subscriptions across the group jumped 45% year on year to 1.4 million, creating more than £110m in recurring customer revenue.

Members of Pets at Home’s VIP loyalty programme and Puppy and Kitten Club increased 13% and 107% respectively.

The retailer said it now expects full-year pre-tax profit to come in at the top end of analyst expectations of £128m to £135m.

Pets at Home noted the “widely reported challenges” surrounding supply, logistics and labour, but insisted it had adjusted its operations to meet the challenges and reduce disruption.

It said the majority of its products are sourced domestically and are not perishable or seasonal, meaning that its current stock levels were “good”.

Pets at Home boss Peter Pritchard said: “Our business has never been more robust. Our pet care strategy continues to deliver, we continue to take market share and improve spend per customer and the benefits of our investment in capacity and capability are really starting to deliver.

“Notwithstanding some near-term, industry-wide challenges, we continue to grow ahead of our plans and, based on trading year to date, we are on track to report a record year of sales and profit growth.”