‘Humanisation of pets’ boosts vet group CVS as sales soar despite pandemic

A continuing trend towards treating pets as a “human” member of the family will help veterinarians CVS, it said on Friday while revealing that sales grew by 9.4% in the last six months of 2020.

The vet group said it and the whole sector is benefiting from the so-called “humanisation of pets” and increased ownership.

It has shown “resilience” during the first half of its financial year, which remained defined by Covid-19, the board said.

Sales grew by 9.4% over the period to £245.6 million, and by 7.8% on a like-for-like basis.

“Although the board remains cautious given the current level of macro uncertainty, particularly in light of the recent UK lockdown restrictions, the improved performance has been maintained across all operations during the first half,” the company said in a statement.

“The board therefore remains confident in the group’s ability to maintain clinical excellence and in the adaptability of its people and processes, which together support the group’s continuing momentum and its strong longer-term prospects.”

Sales were helped by growth in CVS’s veterinary practices division as well as increased demand in its online pharmacy and retail business Animed Direct.

The company made four acquisitions during the six months, including six sites across the south of England.

Its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation hit £45.1 million, a rise of 19% compared to the same period in 2019.

“The veterinary market continues to benefit from favourable consumer trends, with increasing pet ownership and the humanisation of pets driving wider appreciation of animal care,” CVS said

“These trends, coupled with advances in clinical care increases the range of services we can offer. This is providing additional resilience to a number of our revenue streams.”

Humanisation – such as special cooked meals, clothing and beds – has been criticised for leading to poor health, diet and behaviour in pets.