Sales in the quarter to the end of December jumped 8.7% on a year ago – compared to 2019 they are up 28%.
Pritchard says it was a “very busy” Christmas – they groomed 5500 dogs on Christmas Eve alone.
Pets now thinks profits for the year will be at least £140 million. The shares rose 19p, 4.5%, to 437p on this news. At the price the business is valued at £2.2 billion.
Pet ownership soared during lockdown. The company says the trend is for customers to spend more and more on their animals.
It says: “The UK pet care market remains robust, with strong continued growth in new pet owner customers, and prevailing customer themes of long-term pet ownership, humanisation and premiumisation.”
According to the Pet Food Manufactures’ Assocation, 3.2 million households bought a new pet since the pandemic started.
City fund managers note that even in hard times, people are unlikely to cut back on what they spend on their pets.
Freetrade analyst Gemma Boothroyd says: “Pets at Home just served up a hefty portion of revenue growth for hungry investors to sink their teeth into. But it’s not just about the fish food and canine kibble, the retailer’s got its finger dipped in a lot more pies too. VIP memberships and veterinary clinics have proven a fantastic upsell opportunity for Pets at Home. These services don’t just lure customers into its physical locations where they’re more likely to browse around and spend more. They’re also exactly how Pets at Home can continue to carve out a niche against Amazon.”