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26 Feb 2021 | 07:53

Pets at Home raises guidance again as demand surges

(Sharecast News) - Pets At Home has lifted annual profit guidance again after a surge in demand from Britons stuck at home during the latest national Covid lockdown. The company, which was able to keep its shops open, on Friday forecast full-year underlying pretax profit of about £85m, ahead of its earlier outlook of at least £77m as demand spiked in the last eight weeks.

"Notwithstanding this challenging external environment, our performance over the last eight weeks has been ahead of expectations, with continued strong and broad-based growth across all channels and categories," the company said.

Pets at Home, which provided improved trading guidance last month, added that recent progress around the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines had also helped reduce the level of uncertainty ahead.

The company operates 451 retail stores offering pet grooming services and insurance products. It has seen soaring demand as people turn to pets for comfort during the crisis.

Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown said the rapid improvement "is evidence of just how strong recent trading has been, and the effect rolling lockdowns are having - both on pet ownership and our willingness to splash out on our furry friends".

"There is always a risk of course that newly acquired pets fall out of favour once lockdown comes to an end, but for now pet retail is in the jaws of a boom."
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