CVS profits rise as pet ownership boom continues

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  • The veterinary services provider’s annual profit jumped by a third to £25.7m.
  • Sales rose thanks to the strong performance of the Animed Direct online store.
  • Since the beginning of the pandemic, the British have adopted animals.

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CVS Group reported another rise in profits as the growth of the UK pet population helped the company weather a more difficult economic climate.

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The veterinary services provider’s profit jumped by a third to £25.7m in the year ended June 30, thanks to lower acquisition costs and an 8.6% increase in revenue to £554.2m.

Sales were boosted by the strong performance of Animed Direct’s online retail business and the release of pent-up demand for non-essential treatments that were delayed due to Covid-related restrictions.

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Treatments: CVS Group sales were boosted by pent-up demand for non-essential treatments that were delayed due to Covid-related restrictions.

Organic revenue accounted for most of the growth in turnover, despite the company making nine acquisitions during the fiscal year.

One such takeover was Quality Pet Care, which the firm was forced to sell after Britain’s competition regulator said the deal was likely to “significantly reduce” competition in certain regions.

This resulted in CVS incurring a one-time impairment charge of £12.4m, although the overall charge remained low enough to support the growth of the group’s earnings.

The London-based veterinary surgery operator has seen significant growth in recent years as the number of pet owners in the UK skyrocketed during the pandemic.

Around 5.4 million pets have been purchased since March 2020, with more than a third of pet owners in the UK purchasing their first pet, according to a report released at the end of June by veterinary charity PDSA.

Membership in the CVS Healthy Pet Club and Healthy Horse programs, which offer discounts and the ability to spread the cost of preventive veterinary care over a longer period, increased another 4.4% to 475,000.

The firm’s chief executive, Richard Fairman, said: “The veterinary market remains robust and the growing pet population provides a positive momentum and a solid foundation for the sustainable growth of our integrated services.”

CVS employs approximately 5,000 nurses and veterinarians in more than 500 veterinary clinics in the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands, including 35 out-of-hours departments and eight specialized specialist hospitals.

Last month, the company opened a site at Dobbies Garden Centre, Britain’s largest garden center retailer, once owned by supermarket giant Tesco.

In addition, three new points of sale are planned to open in the current financial year, as well as a new veterinary clinic in Bristol.

CVS Chairman Richard Connell believes that even amid cost-of-living pressures, the firm has many underlying factors working in its favor.

He said: “The veterinary sector is seeing favorable market and consumer trends with an increase in the pet population, increased life expectancy and continued humanization of pets, and owners are willing to spend more on pet care.

“Our approach to delivering the best possible healthcare through our fully integrated veterinary services model allows CVS to capitalize on these favorable trends.”

Shares of CVS Group rose 0.8% to £16.18 just before the close of trading on Thursday, although their value has fallen by more than 36% over the past 12 months.

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