Covid-19: Pets at Home to exceed profit expectations

Pets At Home has provided a post-close trading update for the year ended 26 March 2020, stating it expects pre-tax profit for the full year to exceed original expectations. This is primarily due to the rapid increase in demand for its products over recent weeks brought about by the Covid-19 epidemic. The retailer attributed investments in areas such as its omnichannel capacity and subscription services to coping with these unprecedented levels of demand.

For most of the fourth quarter, the UK-based pet care business reported it traded in line with market expectations. As the Covid-19 crisis developed in the last few weeks, the retailer said it experienced exceptional levels of demand both in store and online, fuelled by existing customers pulling forward purchases and new customers purchasing its pet products and health services for the first time.

Having been designated as an essential business by the UK government, Pets At Home is allowed to keep its physical stores open during the Covid-19 restrictions. The retailer confirmed it has put in place a series of measures to protect the health and safety of its staff and customers. This includes adopting alternative working arrangements for colleagues, closing its Groom Room salons, and implementing social distancing across its stores, distribution centres and support offices. 

Whilst Pets At Home acknowledged that Covid-19 could negatively impact its business year, it remains confident of navigating the current crisis and continuing to implement its longer term strategy.

Peter Pritchard, group chief executive officer at Pets At Home commented: “While FY20 has undoubtedly ended strongly for Pets At Home during this unprecedented time, the period ahead is uncertain for us all, and Pets At Home will not be immune to these challenges that we collectively face. I am extremely grateful that our colleagues and operations have shown such resilience and flexibility to meet the recent exceptional level of demand from both existing and new customers.”