UK markets open in 5 hours 48 minutes

Coronavirus: Pets at Home forecasts profit drop as stockpiling slows

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK
Pets at Home pet shop, vet surgery and pet grooming retail outlet store. (John Keeble/Getty)

Pets At Home (PETS.L) warned on Thursday that it expects first-half pre-tax profit to fall as people have started to ease stockpiling amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The group said in its full year results statement that underlying pre-tax profit rose 11% to £99.5m ($121.5m) for the year ending 26 March, due to people stockpiling on food and basic medicines for their pets as the lockdown across Britain took hold.

It added that while online sales have remained higher, that is not enough to offset the reduced level of in-store sales. Pets at Home did not provide an annual outlook due to the consistently changing nature of the progression of the coronavirus pandemic.

“In normal circumstances, it would have given me great pleasure to reflect on another year in which we have grown sales and profits and successfully executed our proven pet care strategy,” said Peter Pritchard, CEO of Pets at Home.

“These are, however, far from normal circumstances with the rapid, wide-ranging and devastating effects of COVID-19 having an unprecedented impact on all of our lives.”

Pets at Home shares crated by 13% in early trading, sinking to 199.92p as of 9.15am BST.

Chart: Yahoo Finance