Belfast Telegraph

Pets At Home warns of 'softer footfall' as profits soar to £46m

Pets At Home has reported a rise in half-year sales and profits, but warned that trading has softened in recent weeks.

Revenue at the retailer rose 9.1% to £441.3 million in the 28 weeks to October 13, with its services division, which includes veterinary and pet grooming services, seeing sales growth of 47.6%.

Pre-tax profit rose 12.4% to £46 million.

But chief executive Ian Kellett spoke of a "difficult trading environment" in the start to the second half.

He told the Press Association: "There has been softer footfall, which could be a blip or it could be something more."

Mr Kellett added that there has been "no discernible impact" from Britain's decision to quit the European Union, adding that the company's hedging strategy will mean "minimal" price inflation as a result of the collapse in the value of the pound.

"In a more difficult trading environment, we continue to build Pets At Home for the future and are confident in the long-term outlook for our unique offer in the resilient pet market, in particular, the developing potential of our services business as we see it mature and grow," he said.

Like-for-like sales grew by 2.5% and Pets said it rolled out eight new superstores, 17 vet practices and 18 grooming salons during the period.