Pets at Home shares dip as profits fall 80%

pets at home

Pets at Home has revealed pre-tax profits for the six months to 11 October to crash by 80.5%.

The company said that profits in the past six months totalled just £8 million, a fall from £40.8 million in the same year previously. 

The veterinary group and retailer said it an overhaul for many of its sites, with 30 potential closures.

Shares in Pets at Home have plunged by over 63% since the highest peak in 2015. On the news this morning, shares fell 4.8% this morning.

The group plans to offer a buyback and consolidate up to 55 of its 471 practices from joint venture partners.

Chief executive Peter Pritchard said: “Since becoming the group CEO in May, I have had the opportunity to take stock of the wider group and shape my view of our future. What I have found fills me with confidence.”

“Reviewing our vet group has been a priority. I recognise we have grown at pace and more recently, have seen the pressure that rising costs and our fees are placing on this young business. We will need to recalibrate the business to deliver more measured growth, whilst maintaining our plan to generate significant cash profits.”

“We are focused on maximising our unique assets and delivering a plan for sustainable cashflow and profit growth. Given the success of the changes we have made in retail, I’m confident we can do this.”

Nicholas Hyett, an equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the plan represented a shakeup “as the vets’ partners struggle to make sufficient money to pay Pets’ fees and still take home a decent wage themselves”.

“That’s partly due to factors outside Pets’ control. A decline in the number of EU vets in the UK is putting pressure on salaries and also making it more difficult to find new partners,” he added.

Shares in the group (LON: PETS) are currently trading -0.89% (1154GMT).