Pets at Home has revealed a profit hike of 29 per cent in the 52 weeks to March 26, 2009 but said it is cautious about the year ahead.

Pre-tax profit before exceptional items and goodwill amortisation rocketed 29.3 per cent to £40m.

Like for like sales jumped 7.5 while total sales climbed 14 per cent to £404.3m.

Pets at Home chief executive Matthew Davies said: “2008 was another strong year for Pets at Home. Despite unprecedented economic headwinds, we worked hard to delight our customers with the quality, innovation and value for money of our products.

“We enter the current year with caution, but our strong market position and track record of growth, gives us confidence.”

In the period the retailer opened 19 stores, bringing its total portfolio to 232.

It opened aquatic centres in six of its stores, bringing the total to 10, while also opening nine Companion Care in-store veterinary practices, bringing the total to 51.

Pets at Home said it is “particularly pleased” with the performance of its own label ranges across its food and accessory categories, enabling it to deliver an accessory offer that is now “significantly differentiated from the competition”.

In the period, Pets at Home launched 208 new products across its food brands.