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Pet retailer to create 450 jobs this year

By Ravender Sembhy

Pets at Home, which has 10 stores in Northern Ireland, has outlined plans to create 450 new jobs this year as the firm reported a rise in full year sales and profits.

The retailer said pre-tax profits rose 3.7% to £90.2m and revenues were up 6.7% to £777.8m in the year to March, adding that it will open 20 new Pets at Home superstores in the next 12 months.

It will also roll out 45 to 55 vet practices and as many as 60 "grooming salons".

But the company could not say whether new stores could be on the cards for Northern Ireland.

It already has 10 shops across the province.

Chief executive Ian Kellett hailed the firm's growing veterinary and pet grooming services, which helped like-for-like sales rise 2.1%, and said the pet market is proving more resilient than the general high street.

Mr Kellett said: "We want to become the one-stop shop for pet owners, who want happy and healthy pets.

"The pet market has proved over time to be more resilient than general retail, so while consumer confidence may be more fragile, we believe our drive to become more specialist and most loved by customers will deliver further progress."

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