Finance

CVS vet business boosted by surge in new pet owners during pandemic


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new wave of animal owners in lockdowns and the increasing “humanisation” of pets has helped boost sales at vet chain business CVS.

The AIM-listed firm, which has 506 veterinary practices, said revenue in the year to June climbed 19.2% to £510.1 million, with comparable sales up 17.4%. Pre-tax profit more than trebled to £33.1 million.

Chairman Richard Connell pointed to structural growth in the industry, helped by trends “including the humanisation of pets”, with people willing to spend more on their animals.

He added there has been “an increase in the demand for companion animals accelerated by Covid-19 restrictions”.

The firm said a recent survey by the Pet Food Manufacturers Association indicated about 3.2 million UK households acquired a puppy or kitten since the start of lockdown restrictions.

The board is recommending a payment of a final dividend of 6.5p per share.

Sophie Lund-Yates, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The vet-clinic giant is barking up the right, very fruitful, tree. A huge boom in pet ownership over lockdown means more trips to the vets and more online pet food orders, and that means a ballooning revenue stream for CVS. What’s particularly impressive is that even when you strip out the effects of lockdowns, growth has been very impressive. Having an organic engine driver is much preferred to relying on favourable market dynamics.”

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