August 2, 2019 / 6:39 AM / 7 months ago

Pets at Home sees slightly higher full-year profit

(Reuters) - British pet supplies retailer Pets at Home Group Plc (PETSP.L) said on Friday it expects full-year underlying profit to be slightly above current market expectations on higher demand for pet food and vet services.

The company reported a 9.9% rise in revenue during the 16-weeks ended July 18, with retail revenue rising 8.7%.

“Good transaction and cash growth in Retail, particularly in food and omnichannel where strong growth has more than offset adverse margin mix,” the company said.

Sales at its vet business rose 18.8% to 37 million pounds.

Pets at Home said underlying performance at its vet business was in line with its plans and the financial impact of buying out a number of joint venture vet practices was “comfortably within expectations.”

The company warned in November that a shortage of specialists in the UK had hampered growth, prompting it to consider shutting dozens of veterinary practices.

Pets at Home said current consensus estimates for fiscal 2020 underlying pretax profit have an average of 85 million pounds, with a range between 79 million pounds and 90 million pounds.

“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,” Chief Executive Officer Peter Pritchard said in a statement.

Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham

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