StockMarketWire.com - Pet product retailer and veterinary group Pets at Home has announced that total group revenue exceeded £1bn for the first time in its full-year results, but said it expects group pre-tax profit in the first half of financial year 2021 to be 'materially below' the prior year due to COVID-19.

In the 52-week period to 26 March 2020, the company saw 10% growth in total group revenue to £1.1bn and group like-for-like revenue growth of 9%.

In its vets group, like-for-like revenue growth was 5.6%, with like-for-like customer sales growth across all First Opinion practices of 13.5%, and joint venture practices at 13.2%.

Retail like-for-like revenue growth was 9.4% during the year, or 15% on a two-year basis, as fourth quarter like-for-like revenue grew 15.9%.

Pets at Home confirmed a final dividend per share of 5.0p, giving a total of 7.5p for the full-year 2020, in line with the prior year.

It reported that the number of VIPs who purchase both products and a service grew 24% year-on-year, representing around 16% of all 5.6m active members, while the number of subscription customers across the group is now over 865,000, up 23% year on year.

In an update on current trading, group chief executive Peter Pritchard said: 'As anticipated in our full-year trading update on 2 April, nearly all of the exceptional demand witnessed in the closing weeks of Q4 has unwound during Q1 of the current year which, combined with our adherence to guidelines on social distancing across our operations and restrictions on the sale of pet products and health care services deemed non-essential, has temporarily depressed normal levels of group turnover.'

He added: 'While online sales have remained at materially elevated levels, matched by improved capacity and good product availability, they are, in isolation, unable to mitigate the reduced level of in-store sales, and their weighting towards food, together with an additional £5m of costs relating to our initial response to COVID-19, has had an adverse effect on profits, margins and cashflow in the financial year to date.'

At 8:21am: [LON:PETS] Pets AT Home Group PLC share price was -17.9p at 211.9p



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