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Pets at Home acquires animal telehealth provider for £15m

Saleha Riaz
·2-min read
The uptake of remote vet consultations is likely to be popular as people stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Getty Images
The uptake of remote vet consultations is likely to be popular as people stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Getty Images

Pets at Home Group (PETS.L) announced the acquisition of The Vet Connection (TVC), an independent veterinary telehealth provider, for £15m ($20m). Pets shares ticked up Monday morning.

The cash consideration is being financed using Pets at Home's existing cash reserves, the company said.

The news comes not long after Pets said it swung to a double digit revenue growth in its full-year 2021 interim results, driven by a boost in sales.

Pets’ CEO Peter Pritchard said the move “marks an important next step in the development of our digital capabilities providing trusted advice and even more convenient pet care services.” The uptake of remote consultations is likely to be popular as people stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

Pets at Home Group's stock was up 1.4% when markets opened on the morning of 30 November. Chart: Yahoo Finance UK
Pets at Home Group's stock was up roughly 3% when markets opened on the morning of 30 November. Chart: Yahoo Finance UK

TVC provides round-the-clock veterinary telehealth advice, triage and ancillary services. Using its in-house veterinary team, it conducts around 90,000 remote consultations each year, “underpinned by extensive proprietary clinical protocols, a wide range of communication channels and a robust and scalable infrastructure,” Pets at Home said in a statement.

In the year to April 2020, TVC achieved adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of £700,000, the statement added.

He said Pets sees opportunities arising from the scalability of TVC’s proprietary telehealth platform, and wants to incorporating this into its customer offering across product, services and subscriptions “to enhance the overall customer experience, and help drive customer acquisition, retention and lifetime value.”

READ MORE: Pets at Home sales jump as COVID-19 drives sales

Meanwhile, people working at home during the pandemic has meant an increase in pet ownership, as people consider what they can do to improve their surroundings.

Last week, the FTSE 250-listed firm also noted its allocation as an “essential” retailer amid widespread COVID-19 lockdowns for its 12.5% like-for-like revenue growth in Q2, saying it had an “exceptional period of demand” during lockdown.

Sales were bumped 4.1% in the six months to October, compared with the same period last year. Almost a third of sales were from the company’s pet care services.

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