Sales at Pets at Home rose 11.2% to £665.4m in the year to the end of March, thanks partly to the growth in its vet practices and strength in its advanced nutrition sales.

The company is the UK’s largest vet practice and opened 32 new stores during the year, taking its total number to 377.

It is also the largest small animal veterinary services provider, with 277 practices, under the two brands, Vets4Pets and Companion Care, of which 47 in-store and 22 standalone outlets were opened in the year.

The retailer aims more than double its overall portfolio to more than 700 practices.

The company’s results, the first since it was floated on the stock market earlier this year, show its underlying pre-tax profit grew 31% to £52.2m, up from £40m. However, pre-tax profits dipped from £26.5m to £22.5m as a result of higher exceptional charges, which included a refinancing exercise.

Company chief executive Nick Wood said: “It has been a pivotal year for Pets at Home.

“Our results demonstrate how we are building on our leading position in the UK pet care market, continuing to innovate and grow the business.

“I am excited with the progress made in our vets group, which through the acquisition of Vets4Pets and the opening of 69 new practices, has become the UK’s largest small animal veterinary services provider.

“None of this would have been possible without the commitment of our outstanding colleagues and I thank them all for their dedication.

“We are focused on delivering the growth strategy we set out to shareholders at IPO. While the lack of a sustained increase in consumer disposable incomes gives some caution to the outlook, I believe the potential of our retail and services businesses will enable us to deliver our strategy and achieve long-term returns.”

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