LONDON (Alliance News) - Pets At Home Group PLC shares rose early Wednesday after the group posted higher sales and revenue in the first quarter of its financial year.
Shares in the firm were up 8% in early trade at 183.6 pence, topping the FTSE 250 index, although it remains well below its initial listing price of 245 pence. The company listed on the London Stock Exchange in March in one of the biggest initial public offerings of the year so far. However, its shares suffered as the market for new listings soured somewhat in subsequent months.
The pet and pet products retailer said like-for-like sales were up 4.1% in the 16 weeks to July 17, driven by its loyalty scheme VIP Club, and sales of advanced nutrition and health & hygiene products, along with continued growth for its veterinary practices and the pet grooming salons it has in some stores.
Overall revenue rose 10.4% to GBP210.8 million, thanks to new store openings and strong performance across its food, accessories and services businesses.
Services revenue proved a particular boost in the quarter, up 27.3% to GBP18.3 million thanks to its veterinary practices and grooming salons. Merchandise revenue rose 9.0% to GBP192.5 million, with 8.8% growth in food revenues and 9.2% growth in accessories.
Its VIP Club reached 2.4 million members in the quarter, up from 2 million at the end of the previous financial year. In addition, VIP card swipes increased to 57% of store revenues, up from 52%.
During the first quarter, Pets At Home opened 10 new stores, 16 veterinary practices and 19 of its pet grooming salons, including 10 veterinary practice and 9 grooming salon retrofits to existing stores.
"We are pleased with the start to our financial year," said Pets At Home Chief Executive Nick Wood. "Given the strong first quarter performance, we remain confident in our expectations for the full financial year."