Source - LSE Regulatory
RNS Number : 1709Q
Pets At Home Group Plc
29 May 2024
 

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 29 MAY 2024

Pets at Home Group Plc: FY24 Preliminary Results
for the 52-week period to 28 March 2024

A pivotal year building our platform for future growth

 

Business Highlights

FY24 has been a foundational year for Pets at Home. We have delivered the key strategic elements that will form the platform for future growth. We have:

Launched digital platform to consumers, an important milestone in the digitisation of the business, with our new app and website positioned to bring together everything owners need to care for their pet.

Brought our new DC onstream, with all stores now being served from a single site and availability at structurally higher levels. We will complete the transition of our online business in the coming year.

Continued progress in growing our vet footprint, with 3 new vet practices, 26 practice extensions, and 10 company-owned to JV conversions, supported by further progress on vet talent.

Invested in our pet care centres with 5 new openings and 41 store refits.

Grown our large, loyal customer base. We now have 7.8m active Pets Club members, up 2% YoY with strong retention and a continued normalisation in new Puppy & Kitten sign ups as expected.

1.7m subscriptions, now generating 10% of consumer revenue. The launch of our digital platform will offer customers an enhanced subscriptions capability with improved choice and flexibility.

Launched our new unified Pets brand, bringing together all of our products and services under one master brand reflecting our consumer positioning as a provider of all your pet care needs.

Accelerated range innovation, introducing new frozen ranges, launching an own brand freeze-dried range, and exclusively partnering with Butternut Box to offer freshly-cooked dog food to consumers.

Progressed our sustainability agenda, reducing our Scope 1 & 2 emissions by a further 3.5%, raising over £9.2m for pet charities, feeding 2.7m pets for a day through our pet food bank partnership with Blue Cross, and donating over 16,000 hours to local communities.

 

Financial Highlights

 Consumer revenue# grew 6.9%, in line with our medium-term ambition, to £1.9bn. Underlying consumer demand was resilient with structural trends underpinning sustained market growth.

Total Group revenue growth of 5.2% to £1.5bn, with Group like-for-like# (LFL) revenue up 5.1%.


Vet Group revenue grew 16.8%, and LFL# up 16.5%, with record sales supported by higher Average Transaction Value, mix and visits as we increased clinical capacity.


Retail revenue grew 4.0%, and LFL# up 4.1%. Q4 LFL was in line with expectations with continued volume growth and slowing inflation in food, and softer performance within accessories.

Underlying PBT# of £132.0m is down 3.2% YoY as guided, impacted by short-term availability issues as we transitioned to our new DC and weaker performance of discretionary accessories. Returning accessories to growth is a key focus in the year ahead and we have a strong plan to do so.

Statutory PBT was £105.7m, down 13.7% reflecting the decline in underlying PBT and non-underlying costs of £26.3m, mostly associated with our DC transition and our support office consolidation.

Underlying basic EPS was 20.7p, down 9.0%, and statutory basic EPS was 16.6p, down 19.0%.

Total dividend per share held at 12.8p, final dividend held at 8.3p.

Free cash flow# down 29.7% to £69.0m reflecting YoY profit shape and the phasing of investments.

Balance sheet remains robust with net cash# of £8.8m (before lease liabilities of £380.9m). Cash and cash equivalents were £57.1m at the end of the year.

£25m share buyback announced for FY25, having completed £100m in buybacks over last 2 years.

 

Lyssa McGowan, Chief Executive Officer:

"FY24 has been a pivotal year for the business, having delivered some key building blocks of our platform for long term growth. I am proud of the progress we have made in the year; we relaunched our brand, opened our new DC, built our new digital platform, made progress in our sustainability agenda, and enhanced our physical estate. The business has come together brilliantly to navigate any challenges faced this year, and we have delivered some key milestones of our strategy.

Our medium-term strategy and financial framework is unchanged and, looking ahead, the fundamental strengths of the business position us well to deliver growth. We hold a leading position in a structurally growing market, with an unrivalled retail store network, and a unique, differentiated and integrated vet business. We know the nation's pets better than anyone else, with over 10 years of analytical data on 10 million pets, and we now have a best-in-class digital platform, and a modern efficient DC.

Above all else, we have the best colleagues in the industry, who use their passion and expertise to guide customers through their pet care journey every day. All of this positions us incredibly well as we continue to execute our strategy to build the world's best pet care platform."

 

Current trading and outlook

No change to FY25 underlying PBT guidance. Whilst the external trading environment has been subdued, overall pet care spend has proven resilient, and in the year ahead, we should begin to benefit from previous investments and key productivity programs.

Over the first 6 weeks of the year, we have seen low double-digit growth in our Vet Group, with Retail at -2%, broadly in line with plan. Retail LFL currently reflects the annualization of our strongest comparative periods, and some short term disruption as we transitioned to our new digital app from the legacy web platform. We are currently projecting that these impacts will ease from Q2 onwards.

Market growth in recent quarters has been impacted by easing inflation, continued caution amongst consumers, and the timing impacts of normalised numbers of new puppies and kittens. Importantly through this period we have consistently won share in our key food category, and are currently expecting industry growth to progressively return closer to historic levels over the coming quarters.

For FY25:

We are comfortable with current analyst consensus for underlying PBT, currently c£144m.

We expect non-underlying costs of c£7m reflecting further transition costs for the DC (£3m) and one-off support office restructuring costs (£4m).

Effective tax rate is expected to be 26%.

Plan for capex of £60m.

Planning for a further £25m share buyback, following the £100m completed over the last 2 years.

 

Delivering against our strategy - Building the world's best pet care platform

Our medium-term vision and strategy is to build the world's best pet care platform. As the UK's only complete pet care provider we have a leading position in a structurally growing market, and our strategy will help differentiate us further and unlock the unique opportunity we see ahead, generating long-term sustainable value for all stakeholders.

FY24 has been a pivotal year for the business and represents just one year of a medium-term strategy that will enable us to build an even better business that is fully integrated for customers, offers a seamless omnichannel proposition, and that provides a truly consumer-centric experience.

 

An integrated consumer experience 

Our pet care platform truly integrates our unique blend of products, services and advice. Once complete, it will span the entire group, seamlessly connecting consumers, vets, and retail colleagues.

Our Pets Club loyalty program provides unique insights into the UK pet population, with over 10 years of analytical data on 10 million pets. We now have 7.8m active members, +2% YoY.

Growing share of wallet is our greatest opportunity, unlocked by creating easy, frictionless, and enjoyable customer journeys across our platform.

Our average customer now spends £178 a year with us, but our most engaged customers spend over £900, highlighting our significant growth headroom.

 

A unique data and digital platform

Our new app and website are live, transforming the shopping and subscription experience for pet owners. Early insights are positive, with average daily app sales up c25% versus pre-launch.

This marks a major step in the digitisation of the business but is only the beginning of what we will offer consumers, and we will continue to deliver a succession of improvements in the years ahead.

We will increasingly leverage data to drive targeted and highly personalised offers, improve operational efficiency, and grow predictable, sticky revenue streams e.g. subscriptions.

The final element of our digital platform, a new vet practice management system, will pilot this year enabling vets to deliver improved efficiency and clinical productivity, and access real-time client data.

 

Differentiated, sector-leading vets

We are the only business which has successfully brought together clinical and retail services at scale, a key part of offering complete pet care to customers.

Our unique practice owner model has driven record growth and consistent market outperformance, with consumer revenues now £576m, acting as a material contributor to the overall group.

As more practices reach maturity it unlocks opportunities to drive additional growth through advanced capabilities, practice extensions, and the rollout of 5-15 new practices a year.

We believe that our vets growth strategy is not threatened by the CMA's review into the vet sector. Our key building blocks for growth support competition and deliver better outcomes for consumers.

 

An unrivalled retail proposition

We will leverage our category authority and expertise to lead on innovation in food, led by our own brands (up 13% YoY), introducing new ranges, and increasing our presence in emerging areas.

We plan to return accessories to growth through driving premiumisation, leveraging exclusive licenses and tie-ups, and creating points of engagement around major events.

Our nationwide network of pet care centres gives us scale and reach advantages, bringing us closer to pet owners and able to offer more flexibility and convenience than competitors, all under one roof.

We will continue to open new pet care centres in attractive catchments, particularly urban, targeting 35-40 new openings over the medium term, as well as continuing to invest in our existing estate.

 

Our values underpin everything we do

Planet: We will continue to reduce the carbon intensity of our own operation. Our 3.5% reduction in Scope 1&2 emissions in FY24 takes the reduction over the past 9 years to 44%.

Pets: We remain the biggest supporter of pet-related charities in the UK through the Pets Foundation, having raised over £9.2m in this year alone.

People: We continue to support the communities in which we operate, and our colleagues have collectively donated over 16,000 hours to local causes through our Better World Pledge days.

 

Our financial framework

FY24 was a pivotal year for the business, and represents just the first year of a multi-year strategy. Our financial framework remains unchanged, and over the medium term we expect to deliver the following.

Ambition to grow consumer sales at 7% per annum, within a market growing at c4%.

Target 10% PBT CAGR through operational leverage and productivity gains.

FCF conversion trends to 70% of PBT, as capex tapers and benefits from previous investments flow.

Maintain capital discipline and a clear capital allocation policy;


1.

Invest £280m of capex in the business over medium term; £400m including digital/opex investment.


2.

Pay a progressive ordinary dividend targeting 50% EPS payout.


3.

Explore inorganic growth opportunities. Focus on strategic investments and bolt-on M&A.


4.

Return excess cash to shareholders subject to maintaining a prudent balance sheet and not constraining the business.

 

Key Performance Indicators

Financial KPIs1

 

FY24

FY23

YoY

Consumer revenue#, 2 (£m)


1,906.3

1,782.4

6.9%

Underlying PBT# (£m)


132.0

136.4

(3.2)%

Free cash flow# (£m)


69.0

98.2

(29.7)%

Underlying Basic EPS# (p)


20.7

22.8

(9.0)%

 

Strategic KPIs

 

FY24

FY23

YoY

Number of active Pets Club members3 (m)


7.8

7.7

1.6%

Average Consumer Value4 (£)


178

168

5.7%

% of Revenue from Subscriptions5 (%)


10.0

6.7

330bps

Clinical FTE Headcount6 (k)


3.3

3.0

10.0%

 

1.

Financial KPIs represent those used by the business to monitor performance. Management recognise that as Alternative Performance Measures they differ to statutory metrics, but believe they represent the most appropriate KPIs. GAAP Measures are presented on pages 74-76.

2.

Consumer revenue includes consumer revenue made by Joint Venture vet practices, and therefore differs to the fee income recognised within Vet Group revenue.

3.

Number of active Pets Club members who transacted across the group in the last 365 days prior to the end of the reporting period.

4.

The average spend of active Pets Club members across the group over the last 365 days based on consumer revenue as defined above, rather than statutory revenue.

5.

Subscription revenue includes our Flea & Worm, Easy Repeat, Complete Care and Vac4Life plans and is divided by Group consumer revenue.

6.

Full time equivalent number of all vets and nurses working across the group, based on standard working hours.

 

Results presentation

A presentation for analysts and investors will be held today at 9:30am at Deutsche Numis, 45 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7BF, attendance is by invitation only. To access a live streaming of the event, please click on the following link https://brrmedia.news/PETS_PRFY24. A webcast and statement of these results will be available for playback after the event at www.petsathomeplc.com.

 

Our next scheduled update will be our Q1 FY25 trading statement on 1 August 2024.

 

Investor Relations Enquiries

Pets at Home Group Plc:


Andrew Porteous, Director of Investor Relations

+44 (0) 7740 361 849

Chris Ridgway, Head of Investor Relations

+44 (0) 7788 783 925

 

Media Enquiries

Pets at Home Group Plc:


Natalie Cullington, Head of Communications

+44 (0) 7974 594 701

Citigate Dewe Rogerson:


Angharad Couch

+44 (0) 7507 643 004

 

About Pets at Home

Pets at Home Group Plc is the UK's leading pet care business, providing pets and their owners with the very best advice, products and care. Pet products are available online or from over 450 pet care centres, many of which also have vet practices and grooming salons. The Group also operates a leading small animal veterinary business, with over 440 veterinary general practices located both in our pet care centres and in standalone locations. For more information visit: http://investors.petsathome.com/

 

Disclaimer

This trading statement does not constitute an invitation to underwrite, subscribe for, or otherwise acquire or dispose of any Pets at Home Group Plc shares or other securities nor should it form the basis of or be relied on in connection with any contract or commitment whatsoever. It does not constitute a recommendation regarding any securities. Past performance, including the price at which the Company's securities have been bought or sold in the past, is no guide to future performance and persons needing advice should consult an independent financial adviser. Certain statements in this trading statement constitute forward-looking statements. Any statement in this document that is not a statement of historical fact including, without limitation, those regarding the Company's future plans and expectations, operations, financial performance, financial condition and business is a forward-looking statement. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include, among other factors, changing economic, financial, business or other market conditions. These and other factors could adversely affect the outcome and financial effects of the plans and events described in this statement. As a result you are cautioned not to place reliance on such forward-looking statements. Nothing in this statement should be construed as a profit forecast

 

 

Chief Financial Officer's Review

The FY24 period represents the 52 weeks from 31 March 2023 to 28 March 2024. The comparative period represents the 52 weeks from 1 April 2022 to 30 March 2023.

The Group's results are shown as three segments that represent the size of the respective businesses and our internal reporting structures; Retail (includes products purchased online and in-store, pet sales, grooming services and insurance products), Vet Group (includes general practices and our veterinary telehealth business) and Central (includes Group costs and finance expenses).

 

 

FY24

FY233

YoY change

Group consumer revenue (£m)

1,906.3

1,782.4

6.9%

   Retail

1,330.1

1,278.7

4.0%

   Vet Group

576.2

503.7

14.4%





Group statutory revenue (£m)

1,476.6

1,404.2

5.2%

   Retail

1,330.1

1,278.7

4.0%

   Vet Group

146.5

125.5

16.8%





Group like-for-like revenue growth#

5.1%

7.9%


   Retail

4.1%

7.5%


   Vet Group

16.5%

13.4%






Group gross profit margin3

46.8%

48.0%

(123)bps

   Retail

46.2%

47.5%

(137)bps

   Vet Group

52.7%

53.3%

(53)bps





Group statutory PBT (£m)

105.7

122.5

(13.7)%

Group statutory PBT margin

7.2%

8.7%

(157)bps





Group underlying PBT1,2,# (£m)

132.0

136.4

(3.2)%

   Retail

87.4

98.8

(11.5)%

   Vet Group

61.6

51.3

19.8%

   Central

(17.0)

(13.7)

(23.1)%





Group underlying PBT margin1,2,# 

8.9%

9.7%

(77)bps

   Retail

6.6%

7.7%

(115)bps

   Vet Group

42.0%

40.9%

108bps





Statutory basic EPS (p)

16.6

20.5

(19.0)%

Statutory diluted EPS (p)

16.4

20.2

(18.8)%

Underlying basic EPS1,2,# (p)

20.7

22.8

(9.0)%





Non-underlying items1,2 (£m)

(26.3)

(13.9)

(12.4)

Free cash flow# (£m)

69.0

98.2

(29.7)%

Cash and cash equivalents (£m)

57.1

178.0

(120.9)

Total indebtedness# (£m)

(372.0)

(366.7)

(5.3)

Net cash# (£m)

 

8.8

54.7

(45.9)

Dividend (p)

12.8

12.8

-





Number of




  Pet care centres

458

457

1

  Grooming salons

347

345

2

  Joint Venture vet practices

391

387

4

  Company managed vet practices

56

57

(1)

 

1.

FY24 non-underlying items of £21.7m (FY23: £10.1m) relate to transition costs relating to our new distribution centre, £4.4m (FY23: £2.7m) relating to restructuring of certain support functions, and £1.1m (FY23: £nil) relating to the write down of investments. In addition, in FY23 we incurred £0.1m relating to aborted project costs. All allocated against non-underlying operating costs.

2.

FY24 non-underlying cost of £0.1m (FY23: £1.0m) relates to transition costs relating to our new distribution centre, recognised within non-underlying interest charge.

3.

Refer to Note 1 of the accounts for an explanation of the prior year restatement.

 

Revenue

Consumer revenue# grew 6.9%, in line with of our medium-term ambition, to £1.9bn (Retail £1.3bn, Vets £0.6bn), with all channels remaining in growth.

Group statutory revenue in FY24 grew 5.2% to £1,476.6m (FY23: £1,404.2m) and like-for-like (LFL) revenue grew 5.1%#.

Retail revenue grew 4.0% to £1,330.1m (FY23: £1,278.7m), with LFL revenue growth of 4.1%#. This includes the short-term disruption to our in-store sales performance in Q2 due to the transition to our new DC, which impacted Q2 LFL by c3%. Outside of this, the shape of performance has remained broadly consistent throughout the year with strong growth and share gains in food, but softer trends in discretionary accessories as noted previously. Performance in Q4 was in line with our expectations and as previously guided.

Vet Group revenue was up 16.8% to £146.5m (FY23: £125.5m) and LFL revenue grew by 16.5%#. Total Joint Venture fee income increased by 15.7% to £89.3m (FY23: £77.2m) and revenues from company managed practices increased by 18.7% to £44.6m (FY23: £37.5m). Revenue of £3.2m was recognised in relation to The Vet Connection, our telehealth business.

 

LFL Revenue Growth

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Retail

7.1%

2.8%

3.7%

2.1%

Vet Group

16.6%

18.3%

13.3%

17.8%

Group

7.9%

4.1%

4.4%

3.4%

Gross margin

Group gross margin1 decreased YoY by 123 bps to 46.8% (FY23: 48.0%).

Gross margin1 within Retail was 46.2%, a reduction of 137 bps over the prior period (FY23: 47.5%), predominantly driven by food growing faster than accessories (76bps impact on Group gross margin), as well as a foreign exchange impact as our contracted $ rate was lower YoY (90bps impact on Group gross margin). We have now hedged c80% of our foreign exchange requirements for FY25 at an average rate of $1.25 (FY24: $1.19), meaning FX will act as a slight tailwind to gross margin in the year ahead.

Gross margin1 within the Vet Group decreased by 53 bps to 52.7% (FY23: 53.3%) including a £2.2m impact from a planned one-off marketing investment into our TV brand launch campaign which is charged against gross margin. Excluding this impact, the strong sales growth across our Joint Venture estate against a relatively fixed cost base, as well as the YoY improvement in performance in our company managed practices, helped deliver a 92bps YoY gross margin expansion.

Operating costs

Operating costs2 of £584.7m (FY23: £550.0m) grew at 6.3% including a £13.3m YoY increase in non-underlying costs. In FY24, we incurred a total of £26.2m of non-underlying operating costs (FY23: £12.9m). Before non-underlying costs, operating costs2 grew 4.0%.

 (£m)

FY24

FY23

YoY

Selling and distribution expenses

442.2

416.1

6.3%

Administrative expenses

116.3

121.0

(3.9)%

Underlying operating costs

558.5

537.1

4.0%

Non-underlying costs

26.2

12.9

         13.3

Operating costs

584.7

550.0

6.3%

 

We continue to maintain a tight operational grip on industry-wide cost headwinds, most notably in FY25:

The 9.8% increase in National Living Wage, a c£16m unmitigated cost headwind to the business

The removal of business rates relief as announced in the Autumn Statement, a c£2m cost

 

As well as directly mitigating these costs where possible, we are also proactively offsetting them through our ongoing self-help initiatives. Our programme of store rent reductions is progressing well; where we have actively sought to reduce the rent at property lease events, we have achieved an average reduction of 20%. We expect to complete 40 lease renegotiations in FY25. We also continue to target efficiencies across consumables and goods not for resale, and we are driving further productivity gains across our stores and supply chain, using technology to lower our overall cost to serve.

Finance expense

The net finance expense, including interest charged on lease liabilities, reduced to £13.6m (FY23: £14.3m). Of this, £13.3m (FY23: £12.4m) related to interest expense on lease liabilities.

 

Profit before tax (PBT)

Group statutory profit before tax was £105.7m (FY23: £122.5m), in part due to a £12.4m YoY increase in non-underlying costs. In FY24 we incurred a total of £26.3m of non-underlying costs (£26.2m operating costs, £0.1m interest), of which £21.5m relates to the transition to our new distribution centre. In FY23, non-underlying costs totalled £13.9m (£12.9m operating costs, £1.0m interest), of which £11.1m related to our new DC.

Group underlying profit before tax was £132.0m# (FY23: £136.4m), with underlying profit margin3 of 8.9% (FY23: 9.7%), impacted by lower profits in our retail business, offset by a significant step up in profits in our vet business.

Retail statutory profit before tax was £64.8m (FY23: £87.7m). Retail underlying profit before tax was £87.4m# (FY23: £98.8m) with underlying profit margin3 of 6.6% (FY23: 7.7%) reflecting the gross margin impacts described above as food grew ahead of accessories, higher distribution costs as we transitioned to our new DC, and increased colleague costs following the 9.7% National Living Wage increase in April.

Vet Group statutory profit before tax was £58.8m (FY23: £51.3m). Vet Group underlying profit before tax was £61.6m# (FY23: £51.3m) with underlying profit margin3 of 42.0% (FY23: 40.9%), driven by ongoing strong sales performance as we continue to improve clinical capacity.

Central costs of £17.9m (FY23: £16.5m) includes payroll costs for Group functions, professional fees, and finance expenses. Underlying central costs were £17.0m (FY23: £13.7m).

Taxation, profit after tax & EPS

Total tax expense was £26.5m for the period, an effective rate of 25%. Statutory profit after tax decreased by 21.4% to £79.2m (FY23: £100.7m). Statutory basic earnings per share (EPS) were 16.6 pence (FY23: 20.5 pence) and underlying basic earnings per share# were 20.7 pence (FY23: 22.8 pence).

Working capital

The movement in working capital4 for FY24 was an outflow of £4.6m (FY23: £19.8m inflow) reflecting a more normalised working capital position. In the prior year, working capital was supported by three main factors; growth in GNFR payables relating to the timing of invoicing and project spend, a growth in provisions built ahead of closing our legacy DCs, and a reduction in receivables attributable to a significant decrease in operating loans due to strong performance in our vets.

Inventories decreased by £11.1m YoY reflecting in part the unwind of the stock position built ahead of the transition to our new DC last year, along with tighter stock control.

Payables decreased by £5.3m YoY primarily driven by the reduction in inventory position.

Receivables increased £6.3m YoY, partly driven by timing differences in supplier-funded marketing activity. Within receivables, the strong financial performance across our Joint Venture vet practices contributed to the gross value of operating loans reducing by £5.0m to £8.8m from £13.8m at FY23 year end.

Investment

Capex was £42.9m (FY23: £75.3m) in the year as we continue to move past the period of peak investment in our strategy.

Investment was focused on three strategic growth areas; £9.5m (FY23: £7.9m) into digitising the business, a £6.4m (FY23: £43.7m) investment into our new distribution centre, and £19.6m (FY23: £17.5m) to continue with our store refit programme. 

Capital investment in the year was below our original plan due to three primary factors; the timing of our store development plan, as well as adopting a more capital-light approach to store refits; opting for a lower cost, highly efficient technology in our solar panel installation in our new DC; and a change in phasing in investment regarding our new practice management system, however total capital investment over the course of our medium-term plan is unchanged at c£280m.

In addition, a £2.7m investment in vet practices, initially included in our capex guidance, is now classified as investments. This relates to investments in refits, extensions and advanced capabilities. The equivalent figure in FY23, which was included within capex, was £0.4m.

Free cash flow

Free cash flow after interest and tax, but before acquisitions was £69.0m# (FY23: £98.2m). The decrease in free cash flow compared with the prior year primarily reflects the underlying profit decline, and the normalisation in working capital, offset in part by lower capex as we move past our peak investment phase.

 

Free cash flow#  (£m)

FY24

FY23

Net cash flow from operating activities

210.0

251.2

Lease payments5    

(68.4)

(68.9)

Cash receipts from lease incentives

-

22.0

Debt issue costs

(0.9)

(0.1)

Net cash capex6

(48.5)

(77.2)

Net interest7

(12.4)

(14.7)

Purchase of own shares for colleague share schemes

(10.8)

(14.1)

Free cash flow#

69.0

98.2

The cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period were £57.1m, down £120.9m YoY (FY23: £178.0m).

Divisional free cash flow

 

FCF (£m)

Retail


27.7

Vet Group


58.3

Central


(16.9)

Group#

 

69.0

The cash generation described above, enables us to maintain our dividend payment and fund the £50m share buyback programme completed in the year. Our net cash position# at the end of the period was £8.8m (cash £57.1m, debt £48.3m), and total indebtedness# was £372.0m post lease liabilities. This represents a leverage ratio# of (0.1)x underlying EBITDA or 1.5x on a lease adjusted basis.

Net cash (£m)

FY24

FY23

Opening net cash#

54.7

66.0

Free cash flow#

69.0

98.2

Equity dividends paid

(60.7)

(58.7)

Share buyback

(50.3)

(50.3)

Acquisitions8

(2.4)

(0.5)

Disposals9

(1.5)

-

Closing net cash#

8.8

54.7

Pre IFRS 16 leverage#

(0.1)x

(0.3)x

Lease adjusted leverage#

1.5x

1.5x

 

1.

Gross margin is calculated as gross profit as a percentage of revenue. Refer to Note 1 of the accounts for an explanation of the prior year restatement.

2.

Operating costs are the sum of selling and distribution expenses and administrative expenses. Refer to Note 1 of the accounts for an explanation of the prior year restatement.

3.

Underlying profit margin is calculated as underlying profit before tax as a percentage of revenue.

4.

Working capital is the sum of YoY movements in trade and other receivables, inventories, trade and other payables, and provisions.

5.

Lease payments are cash payments for the principal portion of the right-of-use lease liability.

6.

Net cash capex is proceeds from the sale of property, plant and equipment less costs to acquire right-of-use assets and acquisition of property, plant and equipment and other intangible assets.

7.

Net interest is interest received less interest paid, interest paid on lease obligations, and debt issue costs.

8.

FY24 includes £1.0m investment in Good Dog Food, £2.5m investment in joint venture (JV) practices, £1.0m relating to the acquisition of JV practices, offset by £2.1m proceeds from repayment of initial loans from JV partners.

9.

FY24 disposals relates to the disposal of certain company managed practices as we converted them to joint venture partnerships.

 

The Group's underlying cash return on invested capital (CROIC)# in the period decreased to 19.4% (FY23: 22.7%) having been through a period of heightened investment as we build our digital platform and bring our new DC onstream, with the cash benefits to come in future years.

Capital allocation

Our capital allocation policy prioritises investing cash in areas that will expand the Group and deliver attractive returns. These areas include organic investment (into our digital capability, our infrastructure, and our store refit program), our dividend policy (which approximates to 50% of earnings per share) and value-accretive opportunities including M&A (which are strategically aligned to expanding our platform in core and adjacent markets). We will return to shareholders any surplus cash after these items, and it is the Board's intention to review this on an annual basis. Having completed £100m in share buybacks over the past two years, we have today announced a further £25m buyback for the year ahead.

Dividend

The Board has recommended a final dividend of 8.3 pence per share, taking the total dividend for the year to 12.8 pence per share. Dividends have been maintained in the year despite the YoY decline in EPS, resulting in a payout ratio of 61%. In the years ahead we will gradually move our payout ratio closer to the 50% stated in our capital allocation policy. The final dividend will be payable on 16 July 2024 to shareholders on the register at the close of trading on 7 June 2024.

 

 

Mike Iddon

Chief Financial Officer

28 May 2024

 

Financial statements

 

Section 435 statement

Consolidated income statement

Consolidated statement of comprehensive income                    

Consolidated balance sheet      

Consolidated statement of changes in equity as at 28 March 2024          

Consolidated statement of changes in equity as at 30 March 2023          

Consolidated statement of cash flows   

Company balance sheet           

Company statement of changes in equity as at 28 March 2024   

Company statement of changes in equity as at 30 March 2023

Company statement of cash flows        

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) 

Glossary - Alternative Performance Measures   

Advisors and contacts  

 

Section 435 statement

The financial information set out below does not constitute the company's statutory accounts for the period ended 28 March 2024 or 30 March 2023 but is derived from those accounts. Statutory accounts for 2023  have been delivered to the registrar of companies, and those for 2024 will be delivered in due course. The auditor has reported on those accounts; their reports were (i) unqualified, (ii) did not include a reference to any matters to which the auditor drew attention by way of emphasis without qualifying their report and (iii) did not contain a statement under section 498 (2) or (3) of the Companies Act 2006.

 

 

Consolidated income statement for the 52 week period ended 28 March 2024


Note

 52 week period ended 28 March 2024

52 week period ended 30 March 2023 (restated) 1

Underlying trading

£m

Non-underlying

items (note 3)

£m

Total

£m

Underlying trading

£m

Non-underlying

items (note 3)

 £m

Total

£m

Revenue

2

1,476.6

-

1,476.6

1,404.2

-

1,404.2

Cost of sales2


(785.3)

-

(785.3)

(729.6)

-

(729.6)

Gross profit


691.3

-

691.3

674.6

-

674.6

Selling and distribution expenses


(442.2)

(21.4)

(463.6)

(416.1)

(10.1)

(426.2)

Administrative expenses

3

(116.3)

(4.8)

(121.1)

(121.0)

(2.8)

(123.8)

Other income

3

12.7

-

12.7

12.2

-

12.2

Operating profit

2,3

145.5

(26.2)

119.3

149.7

(12.9)

136.8

Financial income

6

4.0

-

4.0

2.7

-

2.7

Financial expense

7

(17.5)

(0.1)

(17.6)

(16.0)

(1.0)

(17.0)

Net financing expense


(13.5)

(0.1)

(13.6)

(13.3)

(1.0)

(14.3)

Profit before tax


132.0

(26.3)

105.7

136.4

(13.9)

122.5

Taxation

8

(33.1)

6.6

(26.5)

(24.4)

2.6

(21.8)

Profit for the period

 

98.9

(19.7)

79.2

112.0

(11.3)

100.7

1 See notes 1.1 and 1.27 for an explanation of the prior year restatements.

2 Impairment gains on receivables of £1.0m (52 weeks to 30 March 2023 £2.0m) are reported within cost of sales.

 

Basic and diluted earnings per share attributable to equity shareholders of the Company:


Note

52 week period ended 28 March 2024

52 week period ended 30 March 2023

Equity holders of the parent - basic

5

16.6p

20.5p

Equity holders of the parent- diluted

5

16.4p

20.2p

 

Dividends paid and proposed are disclosed in note 9.

The notes on pages 18 to 73 form an integral part of these financial statements.

Consolidated statement of comprehensive income for the 52 week period ended 28 March 2024


Note

52 week period ended 28 March 2024

£m

52 week period ended 30 March 2023

£m

Profit for the period


79.2

100.7

Other comprehensive income




Items that are or may be recycled subsequently into profit or loss:




Foreign exchange translation differences

22

-

(0.1)

Effective portion of changes in fair value of cash flow hedges

22

3.3

(10.6)

Net change in fair value of cash flow hedges reclassified to profit or loss

22

1.3

-

Other comprehensive income for the period, before income tax


4.6

(10.7)

Income tax on other comprehensive income

15,22

(0.3)

1.3

Other comprehensive income for the period, net of income tax


4.3

(9.4)

Total comprehensive income for the period


83.5

91.3

 

The notes on pages 18 to 73 form an integral part of these financial statements.

 

Consolidated balance sheet at 28 March 2024


Note

At 28 March 2024 £m

At 30 March 2023 £m

Non-current assets




Property, plant and equipment

11

158.1

146.9

Right-of-use assets

12

319.3

359.6

Intangible assets

13

979.7

989.5

Deferred tax asset

15

-

1.9

Other non-current assets

16

10.9

10.9



1,468.0

1,508.8

Current assets


 


Inventories

14

97.5

108.6

Other financial assets

16

0.3

2.2

Trade and other receivables

17

60.9

51.8

Cash and cash equivalents

18

57.1

178.0



215.8

340.6

Total assets


1,683.8

1,849.4

Current liabilities


 


Trade and other payables

20

(249.2)

(261.2)

Income tax payable


(1.4)

(0.3)

Other interest-bearing loans and borrowings

19

(2.2)

(1.2)

Lease liabilities

12

(79.8)

(83.3)

Provisions

21

(7.6)

(3.9)

Other financial liabilities

16

(1.0)

(3.7)



(341.2)

(353.6)

Non-current liabilities


 


Other interest-bearing loans and borrowings

19

(43.3)

(119.3)

Lease liabilities

12

(301.0)

(338.1)

Provisions

21

(5.1)

(12.9)

Deferred tax liabilities

15

(4.7)

-

Other financial liabilities

16

-

(0.4)



(354.1)

(470.7)

Total liabilities


(695.3)

(824.3)

Net assets


988.5

1,025.1

Equity attributable to equity holders of the parent


 


Ordinary share capital

22

4.7

4.8

Consolidation reserve


(372.0)

(372.0)

Merger reserve


113.3

113.3

Translation reserve


(0.1)

(0.1)

Capital redemption reserve


0.3

0.2

Cash flow hedging reserve


(0.5)

(1.6)

Retained earnings


1,242.8

1,280.5

Total equity


988.5

1,025.1

 

 

On behalf of the Board:

 

Mike Iddon

Chief Financial Officer

28 May 2024

 

Company number: 08885072

 

The notes on pages 18 to 73 form an integral part of these financial statements.

Consolidated statement of changes in equity as at 28 March 2024


Share capital

£m

Consolidation reserve

£m

Merger reserve

£m

Cash flow hedging reserve

£m

Translation reserve

£m

Capital redemption reserve

 £m

Retained earnings

£m

Total equity

£m

Balance at 30 March 2023

4.8

(372.0)         

113.3

(1.6)

(0.1)

0.2

1,280.5

1,025.1

Total comprehensive income for the period









Profit for the period

-

-

-

-

-

-

79.2

79.2

Other comprehensive income (note 22)

-

-

-

4.3

-

-

-

4.3

Total comprehensive income for the period

-

-

-

4.3

-

-

79.2

83.5

Hedging gains and losses reclassified to inventory

-

-

-

(3.2)

-

-

-

(3.2)

Total hedging gains and losses reclassified to inventory

-

-

-

(3.2)

-

-

-

(3.2)

Transactions with owners, recorded directly in equity









Equity dividends paid

-

-

-

-

-

-

(60.7)

(60.7)

Share-based payment charge

-

-

-

-

-

-

5.9

5.9

Deferred tax movement on IFRS2 reserve

-

-

-

-

-

-

(1.0)

(1.0)

Share buyback

(0.1)

-

-

-

-

0.1

(50.3)

(50.3)

Purchase of own shares

-

-

-

-

-

-

(10.8)

(10.8)

Total contributions by and distributions to owners

(0.1)

-

-

-

-

0.1

(116.9)

(116.9)

Balance at 28 March 2024

4.7

(372.0)

113.3

(0.5)

(0.1)

0.3

1,242.8

988.5

 

 

Consolidated statement of changes in equity as at 30 March 2023


Share capital

£m

Consolidation reserve

£m

Merger reserve

£m

Cash flow hedging reserve

£m

Translation reserve

£m

Capital redemption reserve

 £m

Retained earnings

£m

Total equity

£m

Balance at 31 March 2022

5.0

(372.0)

113.3

3.4

-

-

1300.0

1,049.7

Total comprehensive income for the period









Profit for the period

-

-

-

-

-

-

100.7

100.7

Other comprehensive income (note 22)

-

-

-

(9.3)

(0.1)

-

-

(9.4)

Total comprehensive income for the period

-

-

-

(9.3)

(0.1)

-

100.7

91.3

Hedging gains and losses reclassified to inventory

-

-

-

4.3

-

-

-

4.3

Total hedging gains and losses reclassified to inventory

-

-

-

4.3

-

-

-

4.3

Transactions with owners, recorded directly in equity





-

-



Equity dividends paid

-

-

-

-

-

-

(58.7)

(58.7)

Share-based payment charge

-

-

-

-

-

-

4.9

4.9

Deferred tax movement on IFRS2 reserve

-

-

-

-

-

-

(2.0)

(2.0)

Share buyback

(0.2)

-

-

-

-

0.2

(50.3)

(50.3)

Purchase of own shares

-

-

-

-

-

-

(14.1)

(14.1)

Total contributions by and distributions to owners

(0.2)

-

-

-

-

0.2

(120.2)

(120.2)

Balance at 30 March 2023

4.8

(372.0)         

113.3

(1.6)

(0.1)

0.2

1,280.5

1,025.1

 

 

Consolidated statement of cash flows for the 52 week period ended 28 March 2024


52 week period

ended

28 March 2024

£m

52 week period

ended

30 March 2023

£m

Cash flows from operating activities

 


Profit for the period

79.2

100.7

Adjustments for:

 


Depreciation and amortisation

109.6

103.4

Financial income

(4.0)

(2.7)

Financial expense

17.6

17.0

Share-based payment charges

5.9

4.9

Taxation

26.5

21.8


234.8

245.1

(Increase) /Decrease in trade and other receivables

(6.3)

3.4

Decrease/(Increase) in inventories

11.1

(24.1)

(Decrease)/Increase in trade and other payables

(5.3)

36.9

(Decrease)/Increase in provisions

(4.1)

3.6

Movement in working capital

(4.6)

19.8

 Tax paid

(20.2)

(13.7)

Net cash flow from operating activities

210.0

251.2

Cash flows from investing activities

 


Investments

(3.5)

-

Proceeds from repayment of initial loans

2.1

-

Interest received

4.1

2.7

Costs to acquire right-of-use assets

(0.5)

(1.9)

Acquisition of subsidiaries, net of cash acquired

(1.0)

(0.5)

Disposal of subsidiaries, net of cash disposed

(1.5)

0.4

Acquisition of property, plant and equipment and other intangible assets

(48.0)

(75.7)

Net cash generated from in investing activities

(48.3)

(75.0)

Cash flows from financing activities

 


uEquity dividends paid

(60.7)

(58.7)

Proceeds from new loan

-

123.3

Repayment of borrowings

(75.0)

(100.0)

Debt issue costs

(0.9)

(0.1)

Cash receipts from lease incentives

-

22.0

Cash payments for the principal portion of the right-of-use lease liability

(68.4)

(68.9)

Purchase of own shares

(10.8)

(14.1)

Share buyback

(50.3)

(50.3)

Interest paid

(3.2)

(5.0)

Interest paid on lease obligations

(13.3)

(12.4)

Net cash used in financing activities

(282.6)

(164.2)

Net (decrease)/increase in cash and cash equivalents

(120.9)

12.0

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period

178.0

166.0

Cash and cash equivalents at end of period

57.1

178.0

 

 

The notes on pages 18 to 73 form an integral part of these financial statements.

 

 

Company balance sheet at 28 March 2024


Note

At 28 March 2024 £m

At 30 March 2023 £m

Non-current assets




Investments in subsidiaries

28

936.2

936.2

Deferred tax asset

15

0.9

2.8

Trade and other receivables

17

663.3

578.4



1,600.4

1,517.4

Current assets


 


Other financial assets

16

-

2.0

Cash and cash equivalents

18

-

0.4



-

2.4

Total assets


1,600.4

1,519.8

Current liabilities


 


Trade and other payables

20

(816.3)

(618.0)



(816.3)

(618.0)

Non-current liabilities


 


Other interest-bearing loans and borrowings

19

(22.2)

(97.3)

Other financial liabilities

16

-

(0.4)



(22.2)

(97.7)

Total liabilities


(838.5)

(715.7)

Net assets


761.9

804.1

Equity attributable to equity holders of the parent


 


Ordinary share capital

22

4.7

4.8

Merger reserve


113.3

113.3

Capital redemption reserve


0.3

0.2

Cash flow hedging reserve


-

1.2

Retained earnings


643.6

684.6

Total equity


761.9

804.1

As permitted by section 408 of the Companies Act 2006, the Company's income statement has not been included in these financial statements. The Company's profit for the 52 week period ended 28 March 2024 was £75.9m (profit for the 52 week period ended 30 March 2023 was £33.4m).

 

On behalf of the Board:

 

 

 

 

Mike Iddon
Chief Financial Officer

28 May 2024

 

Company number: 08885072

 

 

The notes on pages 18 to 73 form an integral part of these financial statements.

 

 

 

Company statement of changes in equity as at 28 March 2024


Share capital

£m

Merger reserve

£m

Cash flow hedging reserve

£m

Capital redemption reserve

 £m

Retained earnings

£m

Total equity

£m

Balance at 30 March 2023

4.8

113.3

1.2

0.2

684.6

804.1

Total comprehensive income for the period







Profit for the period

-

-

-

-

75.9

75.9

Other comprehensive income

-

-

(1.2)

-

-

(1.2)

Total comprehensive income for the period

-

-

(1.2)

-

75.9

74.7

Transactions with owners,recorded directly in equity







Equity dividends paid

-

-

-

-

60.7)

(60.7)

Share-based payment charge

-

-

-

-

5.9

5.9

Deferred tax movement on IFRS2 reserve

-

-

-

-

(1.0)

(1.0)

Share buyback

(0.1)

-

-

0.1

(50.3)

(50.3)

Purchase of own shares

-

-

-

-

(10.8)

(10.8)

Total contributions by and distributions to owners

(0.1)

-

-

0.1

(116.9)

(116.9)

Balance at 28 March 2024

4.7

113.3

-  

0.3

643.6

761.9

 

Company statement of changes in equity as at 30 March 2023


Share capital

£m

Merger reserve

£m

Cash flow hedging reserve

£m

Capital redemption reserve

 £m

Retained earnings

£m

Total equity

£m

Balance at 31 March 2022

5.0

113.3

1.3

-

771.4

891.0

Total comprehensive income for the period







Profit for the period

-

-

-

-

33.4

33.4

Other comprehensive income

-

-

(0.1)

-

-

(0.1)

Total comprehensive income for the period

-

-

(0.1)

-

33.4

33.3

Transactions with owners, recorded directly in equity







Equity dividends paid

-

-

-

-

(58.7)

(58.7)

Share-based payment charge

-

-

-

-

4.9

4.9

Deferred tax movement on IFRS2 reserve

-

-

-

-

(2.0)

(2.0)

Share buyback

(0.2)

-

-

0.2

(50.3)

(50.3)

Purchase of own shares

-

-

-

-

(14.1)

(14.1)

Total contributions by and distributions to owners

(0.2)

-

-

0.2

(120.2)

(120.2)

Balance at 30 March 2023

4.8

113.3

1.2

0.2

684.6

804.1

 

Company statement of cash flows for the 52 week period ended 28 March 2024



52 week period ended 28 March 2024

£m

52 week period ended 30 March 2023

£m

Cash flows from operating activities




Profit for the period


75.9

33.4

Adjustments for:


 


Financial expense


1.2

1.5

Share-based payment charges


5.9

4.9

Taxation


(2.3)

(3.0)



80.7

36.8

Increase in trade and other payables


208.8

62.8

Tax (paid)/received


(6.0)

3.5

Net cash flow from operating activities


283.5

103.1

Cash flows from investing activities


 


(Increase)/Decrease in amounts owed by group undertakings


(85.0)

21.9

Net cash generated from investing activities


(85.0)

21.9

Cash flows from financing activities


 


Equity dividends paid


(60.7)

(58.7)

Proceeds from new loan


-

100.0

Repayment of borrowings


(75.0)

(100.0)

Debt issue costs


(0.9)

-

Share buyback


(50.3)

(50.3)

Interest paid


(1.2)

(1.5)

Purchase of own shares


(10.8)

(14.1)

Net cash used in financing activities


(198.9)

(124.6)

Net (decrease)/increase in cash and cash equivalents


(0.4)

0.4

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period


0.4

-

Cash and cash equivalents at end of period


-

0.4

 

Notes (forming part of the financial statements)

Pets at Home Group Plc (the Company) is a company incorporated in the United Kingdom and its registered office is Epsom Avenue, Stanley Green, Handforth, Cheshire, SK9 3RN.

1    Significant accounting policies

The accounting policies set out below have, unless otherwise stated, been applied consistently to all periods presented in these consolidated financial statements.

1.1    Basis of preparation

The consolidated financial statements were prepared in accordance with UK adopted international accounting standards and applicable law. The Company's financial statements have been prepared in accordance with UK adopted international accounting standards (UK-adopted IFRS) as applied in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act 2006. The Company has taken advantage of the exemption provided under section 408 of the Companies Act 2006 not to publish its individual income statement and related notes.

New standards and interpretations issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee (IFRIC) becoming effective during the 52 week period ended 28 March 2024 have not had a material impact on the Group's financial statements, these include IAS 8 amendments and IAS 1 amendments on current/non-current classification of liabilities.

 

The group has assessed the impact of IFRS 17 (Insurance Contracts) which is effective for annual reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2023. The group has deemed the standard does not have a material impact on the Group due to the income in relation to insurance contracts being immaterial.

 

The Group has adopted International Tax Reform - Pillar Two Model Rules (Amendments to IAS 12). The amendments provide a temporary mandatory exception from deferred tax accounting for the top-up tax, which is effective immediately, and require new disclosures about the Pillar Two exposure. As the Group is headquartered in the UK where profits are taxed at a rate higher than the global minimum rate of 15% and the only overseas operations are in Hong Kong where any profit arising is taxed at a rate higher than 15%, it is not considered that the BEPs Pillar 2 has have any impact on the tax position of the Group.

 

The Directors have restated the presentation of the segmental reporting disclosures in Note 2 to reflect the fact that the veterinary telehealth business is now reported within the Vet Group reporting segment.  In the 52 week period ended 30 March 2023 the telehealth business was reported within the Central segment.  As a result, £2.7m of revenue, £1.3m of gross profit and £0.4m at an operating profit level have been reclassified from Central segment to the Vet Group segment.

 

1.2    Measurement convention

The consolidated financial statements are prepared on the historical cost basis except that the following assets and liabilities are stated at their fair value: derivative financial instruments, financial instruments classified as fair value through the profit or loss. Non-current assets held for sale are stated at the lower of previous carrying amount and fair value less costs to sell.

1.3    Going concern

The Group and Company's business activities, together with the factors likely to affect its future development, performance and position, are set out in the Strategic Report. The financial position of the Group and Company, its cash flows, liquidity position and borrowing facilities are described in the Chief Financial Officer's review. In addition, note 23 to the financial statements includes the Group and Company's objectives, policies and processes for managing its capital; its financial risk management objectives; details of its financial instruments and hedging activities; and its exposures to credit risk and liquidity risk.

The Directors of the Group have prepared cash flow forecasts for a period of at least 12 months from the date of the approval of these financial statements which indicate that, despite taking account of reasonably possible downsides, the Group will have sufficient funds, through its revolving credit facility, to meet its liabilities as they fall due for that period.

In preparing the forecasts for the Group, the Directors have carefully considered the impact of consumer confidence, geopolitical tensions and the actual and potential impact on supply chains, as well as energy cost inflation on liquidity and future performance. The Group has also considered the impact of climate change and the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures ('TCFD') scenario analysis conducted in undertaking this assessment.

The Group has access to a revolving credit facility of £300m which expires on 30 September 2028 and a £26.0m asset backed loan which expires on 27 March 2030. The Group has £48.3m drawn down at 28 March 2024 and cash balances of £57.1m. The lowest level of headroom forecast over the next 12 months from the date of signing of the financial statements is in excess of £342.0m in the base case scenario. On a sensitised basis, the lowest level of headroom forecast over the next 12 months from the date of approving of the financial statements is £332.9m due to the removal of the dividend payment in an extreme scenario.

The Group has been in compliance with all covenants applicable to this facility within the financial year and is forecast to continue to be in compliance for 12 months from the date of signing of the financial statements.

A number of severe but plausible downside scenarios were calculated compared to the base case forecast of profit and cash flow to assess headroom against facilities for the next 12 months. These scenarios included:

-

Scenario 1: Reduction on Group like-for-like sales growth assumptions of 1% in each year throughout the forecast period, but ordinary dividends continue to be paid.

-

Scenario 2: Using scenario 1 outcomes and further impacted by a conflated risk impact of £36.0m on sales and £14.7m on PBT per annum (using specific financial risks taken from Group risk register with sales and PBT financial impact quantified), with dividends held at 12.8p per share per annum.

-

Scenario 3: Group like-for-like sales growth declines to 0% in each year and a conflated risk impact of £115.0m on sales and £46.9m on PBT is applied (using the top risks from Group risk register with sales and PBT impact quantified), with dividends cut to nil to conserve cash.

 

Against these negative scenarios, adjusted projections showed no breach of covenants. Further mitigating actions could also be taken in such scenarios should it be required, including reducing capital expenditure.

Despite net current liabilities of £125.4m at Group level and £816.3m in the Company, the Directors of Pets at Home Group Plc, having made appropriate enquiries including the principal risks and uncertainties on page 23, consider that the Group and Company will have sufficient funds to continue to meet their liabilities for a period of at least 12 months from the date of approval of these financial statements and that, therefore, it is appropriate to adopt the going concern basis in preparing the Group consolidated financial statements and the Company only financial statements as at and for the period ended 28 March 2024.

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) continued

1    Significant accounting policies (continued)

 

1.4    Basis of consolidation

Subsidiaries

Subsidiaries are entities controlled by the Group. The Group controls an entity when it is exposed to, or has rights to, variable returns from its involvement with the entity and has the ability to affect those returns through its power over the entity. In assessing control, the Group takes into consideration potential voting rights that are currently exercisable. The acquisition date is the date on which control is transferred to the acquirer. The financial statements of subsidiaries are included in the consolidated financial statements from the date that control commences until the date that control ceases. Losses applicable to the non-controlling interests in a subsidiary are allocated to the non-controlling interests even if doing so causes the non-controlling interests to have a deficit balance.

The Group and Company operate an Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) for the purposes of acquiring shares to fund share awards made to employees. The EBT is deemed to be a subsidiary of the Group and Company as Pets at Home Group Plc is considered to be the ultimate controlling party for accounting purposes. The assets and liabilities of this trust have been included in the consolidated financial information. The cost of purchasing own shares held by the EBT is accounted for in retained earnings.

Investment in Joint Venture veterinary practices

The Group has a number of non-participatory shareholdings in veterinary practice companies, which are accounted for as Joint Venture arrangements. The veterinary practices were established under terms that require mutual agreement between the Group and the Joint Venture Partner, and do not give the Group power over decision making, nor joint control, to affect its exposure to, or the extent of, the returns from its involvement with the practices and therefore are not consolidated in these financial statements. Further, the Group is not entitled to profits, losses, or any surplus on winding up or disposal of the Joint Venture veterinary practices, and as such no participatory interest is recognised. The Group's category of shareholding in the Joint Venture veterinary practices entitles the Group to charge management fees for support services provided. For further details see notes 16, 17 and 27. The Group's shares are non-participatory, and therefore the Group does not share in any profits, losses or other distribution of value from the Joint Venture company; the investments are held at cost less impairment, which is deemed to be their carrying value as explained further in note 16.

 

1.5    Foreign currency

Transactions in foreign currencies are translated to the respective functional currencies of Group entities at the foreign exchange rate ruling at the date of the transaction. Monetary assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies at the balance sheet date are retranslated to the functional currency at the foreign exchange rate ruling at that date. Foreign exchange differences arising on translation are recognised in the income statement. Non-monetary assets and liabilities that are measured in terms of historical cost in a foreign currency are translated using the exchange rate at the date of the transaction. Non-monetary assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies that are stated at fair value are retranslated to the functional currency at foreign exchange rates ruling at the dates the fair value was determined.

The assets and liabilities of foreign operations, including goodwill and fair value adjustments arising on consolidation, are translated to the Group's presentational currency, sterling, at foreign exchange rates ruling at the balance sheet date. The revenues and expenses of foreign operations are translated at an average rate for the period where this rate approximates to the foreign exchange rates ruling at the dates of the transactions. Exchange differences arising from this translation of foreign operations are reported as an item of other comprehensive income and accumulated in the translation reserve or non-controlling interest, as the case may be.

Functional currency

The consolidated financial statements are presented in sterling which is the functional currency of the parent company and the presentational currency of the Group and Company, these have been rounded to the nearest £0.1m.

1.6    Classification of financial instruments issued by the Group

Following the adoption of IAS32, financial instruments issued by the Group are treated as equity only to the extent that they meet the following two conditions:

(a)    they include no contractual obligations upon the Company (or Group as the case may be) to deliver cash or other financial assets or to exchange financial assets or financial liabilities with another party under conditions that are potentially unfavourable to the Company (or Group); and

(b)    where the instrument will or may be settled in the Company's own equity instruments, it is either a non-derivative that includes no obligation to deliver a variable number of the Company's own equity instruments or is a derivative that will be settled by the Company exchanging a fixed amount of cash or other financial assets for a fixed number of its own equity instruments.

To the extent that this definition is not met, the proceeds of issue are classified as a financial liability.

1.7    Non-derivative financial instruments

Non-derivative financial instruments comprise investments in equity and debt securities, trade and other receivables, cash and cash equivalents, interest-bearing borrowings, and trade and other payables.

Trade and other receivables

Trade and other receivables are recognised initially at fair value. Subsequent to initial recognition they are measured at amortised cost using the effective interest method, less any expected credit loss.

Trade and other payables

Trade and other payables are recognised initially at fair value. Subsequent to initial recognition they are measured at amortised cost using the effective interest method.

Cash and cash equivalents

Cash and cash equivalents comprise cash balances and call deposits. Bank overdrafts that are repayable on demand and form an integral part of the Group's cash management are included as a component of cash and cash equivalents for the purposes of the cash flow statement and are only offset for balance sheet purposes where the offsetting criteria are met.

Interest-bearing borrowings

Interest-bearing borrowings are recognised initially at fair value, net of attributable transaction costs. Subsequent to initial recognition, interest-bearing borrowings are stated at amortised cost using the effective interest method.

Contingent consideration

Contingent consideration on acquisition or disposal of a subsidiary is valued at fair value at the time of acquisition or disposal. Any subsequent change in fair value is recognised in profit or loss (see 1.13).

 

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) continued

1    Significant accounting policies (continued)

 

1.8    Derivative financial instruments and hedging

Derivative financial instruments

Derivative financial instruments are recognised at fair value. The gain or loss on remeasurement to fair value is recognised immediately in profit or loss. However, where derivatives qualify for hedge accounting, recognition of any resultant gain or loss depends on the nature of the item being hedged (see below).

Cash flow hedges

Where a derivative financial instrument is designated as a hedge of the variability in cash flows of a recognised asset or liability, or a highly probable forecast transaction, the effective part of any gain or loss on the derivative financial instrument is recognised directly in the hedging reserve. Any ineffective portion of the hedge is recognised immediately in the income statement.

If a hedge of a forecast transaction subsequently results in the recognition of a financial asset or a financial liability, the associated gains and losses that were recognised directly in equity are reclassified into profit or loss in the same period or periods during which the asset acquired or liability assumed affects profit or loss, i.e. when interest income or expense is recognised.

When the hedged forecast transaction subsequently results in the recognition of a non-financial item such as inventory, the amount accumulated in the hedging reserve and the cost of hedging is included directly in the initial cost of the non-financial item when it is recognised. For all other hedging forecast transactions, the amount accumulated in the hedging reserve and the cost of hedging is reclassified to profit or loss in the same period or periods during which the hedged expected future cash flows affect the profit or loss.

For cash flow hedges, other than those covered by the preceding two policy statements, the associated cumulative gain or loss is removed from equity and recognised in the income statement in the same period or periods during which the hedged forecast transaction affects profit or loss.

When a hedging instrument expires or is sold, terminated or exercised, or the entity revokes designation of the hedge relationship but the hedged forecast transaction is still expected to occur, the cumulative gain or loss at that point remains in equity and is recognised in accordance with the above policy when the transaction occurs. If the hedged transaction is no longer expected to take place, the cumulative unrealised gain or loss recognised in equity is recognised in the income statement immediately.

1.9    Intra-group financial instruments

Financial guarantee contracts to guarantee the indebtedness of companies within the Group are considered to be insurance arrangements and accounted for as such. In this respect, the Group treats the guarantee contract as a contingent liability until such time as it becomes probable that a payment will be required under the guarantee, see note 26.

1.10  Property, plant and equipment

Property, plant and equipment is stated at cost less accumulated depreciation and accumulated impairment losses. Where parts of an item of property, plant and equipment have different useful lives, they are accounted for as separate items of property, plant and equipment.

Depreciation is charged to the income statement on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful lives of each part of an item of property, plant and equipment. Land and assets under contruction are not depreciated. The estimated useful lives are as follows:

Freehold property

- 50 years

Fixtures, fittings, tools and equipment

- 3-20 years

Leasehold improvements

- the terms of the lease

 

Depreciation methods, useful lives and residual values are reviewed at each balance sheet date.

The impact of climate change, particularly in the context of risks identified in the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures ('TCFD') scenario analysis have been considered and no material impact on the carrying value, useful lives or residual values have been identified.

1.11  Intangible assets

Intangible assets acquired in a business combination

Intangible assets acquired in a business combination and recognised separately from goodwill are initially recognised at their fair value at the acquisition date (which is regarded as their cost).

Subsequent to initial recognition, intangible assets acquired in a business combination are reported at cost less accumulated amortisation and accumulated impairment losses, on the same basis as intangible assets that are acquired separately.

Customer lists are valued based on the forecast net present value of the future economic relationship with those customers, adjusted for forecast retention rates. Technology based 'know how' assets are valued based on the expected cost to reproduce or replace the asset, adjusted for the physical deterioration and functional or economic obsolescence, if present and measurable. Software is stated at cost less accumulated amortisation.

Amortisation is charged to the income statement on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful life of an asset. The estimated useful lives are as follows:

Software

2 to 7 years

Customer lists

10 years

Technology based know how

10 years

 

Amortisation methods, useful lives and residual values are reviewed at each balance sheet date.

Expenditure on Software as a Service ('SaaS') customisation and configuration that is distinct from access to the cloud software can only be capitalised to the extent it gives rise to an asset, i.e. where the Group has the power to obtain the future economic benefits and can restrict others' access to those benefits, otherwise such expenditure in relation to developing SaaS for use is expensed.

 

The impact of climate change, particularly in the context of risks identified in the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures ('TCFD') scenario analysis have been considered and no material impact on the carrying value, useful lives or residual values have been identified.

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) continued

1    Significant accounting policies (continued)

 

1.12 Leases

On completion of a lease, the Group recognises a right-of-use asset, representing its right to use the underlying asset and a lease liability, representing its obligation to make lease payments. The lease liability is measured at the present value of the lease payments over the term of the lease, discounted using the interest rate implicit in the lease, or if that rate cannot be readily determined, the Group's incremental borrowing rate. The rate implicit in the lease cannot be readily determined and therefore a rate based on the Group's incremental borrowing rate is used. This rate is adjusted to take into account the risk associated with the length of the lease. Lease payments will include any fixed payments, including as a result of stepped rent increases.

 

The right-of-use asset is measured at cost, which comprises the initial amount of the lease liability adjusted for any lease payments made at or before the lease commencement date and any lease incentives received or premiums paid. In the 52 weeks ending 30 March 2023 the Group received a lease incentive of £22.0m in relation to the new distribution centre (2024: £nil). The cash received was included within cash flows from financing activities in FY23 on the basis that it was associated with the payments for the lease liability. 

 

The Group has lease contracts in relation to property and equipment. There are recognition exemptions for low-value assets and short-term leases with a lease term of 12 months or less. Any leases under a short-term licence agreement are excluded as they fall into the lease term of 12 months or less. The Group recognises the lease payments associated with these leases as an expense on a straight-line basis over the term of the lease. The total value of leases where the Group has taken a recognition exemption is disclosed in note 12.

 

The Group has a small number of leases where it is an intermediate lessor. For these leases, it accounts for the interest in the head lease and sub-lease separately. It assesses the lease classification of the sub-lease with reference to the right-of-use asset arising from the head lease, not with reference to the underlying asset.

 

The Group currently receives rental income from related Joint Venture veterinary practices which are located within the Group's retail stores. These rental incomes are disclosed in note 3. Under IFRS16, the lease classification of sub-leases is assessed by reference to the right-of-use asset under the head lease rather than the underlying asset. This rental income is presented in other income in the Consolidated Income Statement.

 

Right-of-use assets may be impaired if the lease becomes onerous. Impairment costs would be charged to administrative expenses if this occurred.

 

1.13 Business combinations

Business combinations are accounted for by applying the acquisition method as at the acquisition date, which is the date on which control is transferred to the Group.

Acquisitions on or after 26 March 2010

For acquisitions on or after 26 March 2010, the Group measures goodwill at the acquisition date as:


the fair value of the consideration transferred; plus

the recognised amount of any non-controlling interests in the acquiree; plus

the fair value of the existing equity interest in the acquiree; less

the net recognised amount (generally fair value) of the identifiable assets acquired and liabilities assumed.

 

When the excess is negative, a bargain purchase gain is recognised immediately in profit or loss.

Costs related to the acquisition, other than those associated with the issue of debt or equity securities, are expensed as incurred.

Any contingent consideration payable is recognised at fair value at the acquisition date. If the contingent consideration is classified as equity, it is not remeasured, and settlement is accounted for within equity. Otherwise, subsequent changes to the fair value of the contingent consideration are recognised in profit or loss. If contingent consideration is payable and is dependent on future employment, it is recognised as an expense over the relevant period as a cost of continuing employment. Any contingent deferred consideration receivable is recognised at fair value.

On a transaction-by-transaction basis, the Group elects to measure non-controlling interests, which have both present ownership interests and are entitled to a proportionate share of net assets of the acquiree in the event of liquidation, either at its fair value or at its proportionate interest in the recognised amount of the identifiable net assets of the acquiree at the acquisition date. All other non-controlling interests are measured at their fair value at the acquisition date.

Acquisitions prior to 26 March 2010 (date of adoption of IFRS)

IFRS1 grants certain exemptions from the full requirements of Adopted IFRS for first time adopters. In respect of acquisitions prior to 26 March 2010, goodwill is included on the basis of its deemed cost.

1.14  Assessment of control with regard to Joint Ventures

The Group has assessed, and continually assesses, whether the level of an individual Joint Venture veterinary practice's indebtedness to the Group, particularly those with high levels of indebtedness, implies that the Group has the practical ability to control the Joint Venture, which would result in the requirement to consolidate. In making this judgement, the Group reviewed the terms of the Joint Venture agreement and the question of practical ability, as a provider of working capital to control the activities of the practice. This included consideration of barriers to the Group's ability to exercise such practical or other control which include difficulty in replacing Joint Venture Partners due to the shortage of veterinarians in the UK and reputational damage within the veterinary network should the Group attempt to exercise control, as well as potential barriers to the Joint Venture Partner exercising their own power over the activities of the practice. We note that under the terms of the Joint Venture agreement, the partners run their practices with complete operational and clinical freedom. The Group is satisfied that on the balance of evidence from the Group's experience as shareholder and provider of working capital support to the practices, it does not have the current ability to exercise control over those practices to which operating loans are advanced, and therefore non consolidation is appropriate.

 

1.15  Inventories

Inventories are stated at the lower of cost and net realisable value. Cost is based on the weighted average cost principle and includes expenditure incurred in acquiring the inventories, production or conversion costs and other costs in bringing them to their existing location and condition, less rebates and discounts.

Provision is made against specific inventory lines where market conditions identify an issue in recovering the full cost of that Stock Keeping Unit ('SKU'). The provision focuses on the age of inventory and the length of time it is expected to take to sell and applies a progressive provision against the gross inventory based on the numbers of days' stock on hand. Where necessary, further specific provision is made against inventory lines, where the calculated provision is not deemed sufficient to carry the inventory at net realisable value.

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) continued

1    Significant accounting policies (continued)

 

1.15  Inventories (continued)

To the extent that the ageing profile of gross inventory as calculated by this provision methodology results in a material provision, it will be disclosed as an estimate that may have an impact on subsequent periods. To the extent this is material, it will be disclosed in note 1.22.

1.16  Impairment excluding inventories and deferred tax assets

Financial assets (including receivables)

 

Measurement of Expected Credit Losses ('ECLs') and definition of default

ECLs are a probability-weighted estimate of credit losses. Credit losses are measured as the present value of all cash shortfalls (i.e. the difference between the cash flows due to the Group in accordance with the contract and the cash flows that the Group expects to receive). ECLs are discounted at the effective interest rate of the financial asset.

 

The definition of default is applicable to intercompany and related party receivables but not relevant to trade receivables where the lifetime expected credit loss is considered. The Group considers Joint Venture receivables (operating loans) to be in default when the underlying veterinary practice is significantly under-performing against its business plan, assessed based on future cashflow forecasts for the individual practices which utilise consistent assumptions across all practices. Any shortfall in repayment of the Joint Venture loans and receivables following the 10-year forecast period are considered to be in default as repayment is expected during this time. Loss given default is also determined based on the forecast shortfall amount. Those within the performing credit risk category are deemed to have low credit risk. Practices categorised within the in default credit risk categories are those considered to be in default based on their cashflow forecast. Significant increase in credit risk is not applicable to Joint Venture operating loans due to the on-demand payment terms.

 

The Group considers initial set up loans to Joint Ventures to be in default when the loan remains outstanding once the practice has reached 15 years of age. These loans have no set repayment date but are expected to be recovered within 15 years. Significant increase in credit risk is defined as any practice which has an operating loan which is in default as defined above. All other loans are considered to be performing and have low credit risk.

 

The Group considers other intercompany and related party assets to be in default when the entity does not have the forecasted future funds available to repay the balance, if recalled.

 

Credit-impaired financial assets

At each reporting date, the Group assesses whether financial assets carried at amortised cost and debt securities at FVOCI are credit-impaired. A financial asset is 'credit-impaired' when one or more events that have a detrimental impact on the estimated future cash flows of the financial asset have occurred.

 

Write-offs

The gross carrying amount of a financial asset is written off (either partially or in full) to the extent that there is no realistic prospect of recovery. Details of these provisions are explained in note 16.

 

Non-financial assets

The carrying amounts of the Group's non-financial assets, other than inventories and deferred tax assets, are reviewed at each reporting date to determine whether there is any indication of impairment. If any such indication exists, then the asset's recoverable amount is estimated. For goodwill, and intangible assets that have indefinite useful lives or that are not yet available for use, the recoverable amount is estimated each period at the same time.

The recoverable amount of an asset or cash-generating unit as defined by IAS36 is the greater of its value in use and its fair value less costs to sell. In assessing value in use, the estimated future cash flows are discounted to their present value using a post-tax discount rate that reflects current market assessments of the time value of money and the risks specific to the asset. For the purpose of impairment testing, assets that cannot be tested individually are grouped together into the smallest group of assets that generates cash inflows from continuing use that are largely independent of the cash inflows of other assets or groups of assets (the 'cash-generating unit'). The goodwill acquired in a business combination, for the purpose of impairment testing, is allocated to cash-generating units ('CGUs'). Subject to an operating segment ceiling test, for the purposes of goodwill impairment testing, CGUs to which goodwill has been allocated are aggregated so that the level at which impairment is tested reflects the lowest level at which goodwill is monitored for internal reporting purposes. Goodwill acquired in a business combination is allocated to groups of CGUs that are expected to benefit from the synergies of the combination.

An impairment loss is recognised if the carrying amount of an asset or its CGU exceeds its estimated recoverable amount. Impairment losses are recognised in profit or loss. Impairment losses recognised in respect of CGUs are allocated first to reduce the carrying amount of any goodwill allocated to the units, and then to reduce the carrying amounts of the other assets in the unit (group of units) on a pro rata basis.

An impairment loss in respect of goodwill is not reversed. In respect of other assets, impairment losses recognised in prior periods are assessed at each reporting date for any indications that the loss has decreased or no longer exists. An impairment loss is reversed if there has been a change in the estimates used to determine the recoverable amount. An impairment loss is reversed only to the extent that the asset's carrying amount does not exceed the carrying amount that would have been determined, net of depreciation or amortisation, if no impairment loss had been recognised.

1.17  Employee benefits

Defined contribution plans

A defined contribution plan is a post-employment benefit plan under which the Group pays fixed contributions into a separate entity and will have no legal or constructive obligation to pay further amounts. Obligations for contributions to defined contribution pension plans are recognised as an expense in the income statement in the periods during which services are rendered by employees.

Short term benefits

Short term employee benefit obligations are measured on an undiscounted basis and are expensed as the related service is provided. A liability is recognised for the amount expected to be paid under short-term cash bonus or profit-sharing plans if the Group has a present legal or constructive obligation to pay this amount as a result of past service provided by the employee and the obligation can be estimated reliably.

Share-based payments

A number of employees of the Company's subsidiaries (including Directors) receive an element of remuneration in the form of share-based payments, whereby employees render services in exchange for shares in Pets at Home Group Plc or rights over shares.

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) continued

1    Significant accounting policies (continued)

 

1.17  Employee benefits (continued)

Share-based payments are measured at fair value at the date of grant. The fair value of transactions involving the granting of shares is determined by the share price at the date of grant. The fair value of transactions involving the granting of share options is calculated by an external valuer based on a binomial model. In valuing share-based payments, no account is taken of any performance conditions, other than conditions linked to the price of the shares of Pets at Home Group Plc ('market conditions').

The cost of share-based payments is recognised, together with a corresponding increase in equity, on a straight-line basis over the vesting period based on the Company's estimate of how many of the awards will eventually vest. No expense is recognised for awards that do not ultimately vest, except for awards where vesting is conditional upon a market condition, which are treated as vesting irrespective of whether or not the market condition is satisfied, provided that all other performance conditions are satisfied. Where the terms of a share-based payment award are modified, as a minimum, an expense is recognised as if the terms had not been modified. In addition, an expense is recognised for any increase in the value of the transaction as a result of the modification, as measured at the date of the modification.

Where a share-based payment award is cancelled, it is treated as if it had vested on the date of cancellation and any expense not yet recognised for the award is recognised immediately. However, if a new award is substituted for the cancelled award and designated as a replacement award on the date that it is granted, the cancelled and new awards are treated as if they were a modification to the original award, as described in the previous paragraph. The dilutive effect of outstanding options is reflected as additional share dilution in the computation of diluted earnings per share.

Employee Benefit Trust

The assets and liabilities of the Employee Benefit Trust ('EBT') have been included in the Group and Company accounts.  The assets of the EBT are held separately from those of the Company. Neither the purchase nor sale of own shares leads to a gain or loss being recognised in the Group consolidated statement of comprehensive income. 

 

Investments in the Company's own shares held by the EBT are presented as a deduction from reserves and the number of such shares is deducted from the number of shares in issue when calculating the diluted earnings per share. The trustees of the holdings of Pets at Home Group Plc shares under the Pets at Home Group Employee Benefit Trust have waived or otherwise foregone any and all dividends paid.

        

1.18 Provisions

A provision is recognised in the balance sheet when the Group has a present legal or constructive obligation as a result of a past event, that can be reliably measured and it is probable that an outflow of economic benefits will be required to settle the obligation. Provisions are determined by discounting the expected future cash flows at a pre-tax rate that reflects risks specific to the liability.

1.19 Revenue and cost of sales

Revenue represents the total amount receivable for goods and services, net of discounts, coupons, returns and excluding value added tax, sold in the ordinary course of business, and arises substantially from activities in the United Kingdom.

Revenue is recognised when the Group transfers control of goods or services to a customer at the amount to which the Group expects to be entitled, and substantially all of the Group's performance obligations have been fulfilled. Depending on whether certain criteria are met, revenue is recognised either over time, in a manner that best reflects the Group's performance, or at a point in time, when control of the goods or services is transferred to the customer. 

 

Sale of goods in-store and online

Retail revenue from the sale of goods is recorded net of value added tax, colleague discounts, coupons, vouchers, returns and the free element of multi-save transactions. Sale of goods represents food and accessories sold in-store and online, with revenue recognised at the point in time the customer obtains control of the goods and substantially all of the Group's performance obligations have been fulfilled, which is when the transaction is completed in-store and at point of delivery to the customer for online orders. Revenue is adjusted to account for estimates for anticipated returns and a provision is recognised within trade and other payables. Estimates for anticipated returns are calculated using past data for both in-store and online transactions. No separate asset has been recognised (with no corresponding adjustment to cost of sales) in relation to the value of products to be recovered from the customer as the products are not always in a resaleable condition.

Gift vouchers and cards

Revenue from the sale of gift vouchers and cards is deferred until the voucher is redeemed, at which point performance obligations have been fulfilled. In line with IFRS15 the value of revenue deferred is based on expected redemption rates. The Group continues to assess the appropriateness of the expected redemption rates against actual redemptions.

 

Pets Club loyalty scheme

Under the Pets Club loyalty scheme, points are earned by customers upon the purchase of goods and services. These points can be converted by nominated charities into gift cards for redemption against goods and services in-store and online. The sales value of the points earned under the Petc Club scheme are treated as deferred income; the sales are only recognised once the points have been redeemed by the charities, at which point performance obligations have been fulfilled. The points do not expire and have no value to the customer.

 

Subscription orders

Revenue for subscription orders is recognised at the point of delivery of each incremental order to the customer at which point performance obligations have been fulfilled. Subscription services primarily relate to the repeat order of products sold online and in-store.

Provision of services

Revenue from the provision of services is recorded net of value added tax, colleague discounts, coupons and vouchers. Provision of services represents veterinary group income, grooming revenue and insurance commissions, with revenue recognised upon provision of the service to the customer at the point at which the Group has substantially fulfilled its performance obligations.

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) continued

1    Significant accounting policies (continued)

 

1.19 Revenue and cost of sales (continued)

3)     Veterinary Group income

Veterinary Group income represents revenue recognised at a point in time from the provision of veterinary services from Company managed practices and income from the provision of administrative support services to Joint Venture veterinary practices. Revenue received for the provision of veterinary services is recognised at the point of provision of the service and is recognised net of value added tax, colleague discounts, coupons and vouchers. Fee income received from the Joint Venture veterinary practice companies for administrative support services is recognised in the period the services relate to and recorded net of value added tax. Fee income received from Joint Venture companies in relation to network purchasing arrangements is recognised as the contractual commitments are fulfilled to create an entitlement to the revenue. The Group also receives revenue in relation to business development for the Joint Venture companies and recognises this within operating income.

Revenue derived from care plans is recognised on an apportioned basis relative to delivery of the service. Revenue on annual 'Complete Care' plans is deferred and recognised at the point at which treatment and/or services are provided against the plan at an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. Once the plan has expired, any unutilised deferred revenue will be recognised as revenue. Revenue from 'Vac4Life' plans is deferred when payment is received and then recognised in reducing proportions over the first three years of the plan when vaccinations/boosters are provided.

Revenue derived from the veterinary telehealth business ('TVC') is recognised over time on a pro-rated basis over the period the customers have access to the telehealth service through subscriptions.

Rental income received from in-store Joint Venture veterinary practices is disclosed within note 3 and is categorised as other income.

ii)      Grooming revenue

Grooming revenue is recognised net of value added tax, colleague discounts, coupons and vouchers, at the point of provision of the service to the customer. Deposits received are deferred until the grooming service has been performed. 

iii)     Insurance commissions

Insurance commissions are recognised over time on a pro-rated basis over the period the insurance policy relates to. 

Accrued income

Accrued income relates to income in relation to fees from Joint Venture veterinary practices, and overrider and promotional income from suppliers which has not yet been invoiced. Accrued income has been classified as current as it is expected to be invoiced and received within 12 months of the period end. Supplier income is recognised on an accruals basis, based on the expected entitlement that has been earned up to the balance sheet date for each relevant supplier contract.

 

Cost of sales

Cost of sales includes costs of goods sold and other directly attributable costs, promotional income and rebate income received from suppliers, including costs to deliver administrative support services to Joint Venture veterinary practices and costs to deliver grooming services. Supplier early payment discounts are also included within cost of sales, these are offered from certain inventory suppliers based on payment of invoices within a certain time frame resulting in a percentage discount to reduce cost of sales.

Supplier income

A number of different types of supplier income are negotiated with suppliers via the joint business planning process in connection with the purchase of goods for resale, the largest of which being overrider income and promotional income, which are explained below. The supplier income arrangements are typically not coterminous with the Group's financial period, instead running alongside the calendar year. Such income is only recognised when there is reasonable certainty that the conditions for recognition have been met by the Group, and the income can be measured reliably based on the terms of the contract. This income is recognised as a credit within gross margin to cost of sales and, to the extent that the rebate relates to unsold stock purchases, as a reduction in the cost of inventory.

Supplier income is recognised on an accruals basis, based on the expected entitlement that has been earned up to the balance sheet date for each relevant supplier contract. The accrued incentives, rebates and discounts receivable at period end are included within trade and other receivables.

Given the presence of the joint business plans, on the basis of the historic recoverability of accrued balances, and as amounts are typically agreed with suppliers prior to recognition, supplier income is not considered to be an area of significant estimation that could impact on the following financial year.

Supplier income comprises:

Overrider income

Overrider income comprises three main elements:

1.      Fixed percentage-based income: These relate largely to volumetric rebates based on the joint business plan agreements with suppliers. The income accrued is based on the Group's latest forecast volumes and the latest contract agreed with the supplier. Income is not recognised until the Group has reasonable certainty that the joint business agreement will be fulfilled, with the amount of income accrued regularly reassessed and remeasured throughout the contractual period, based on actual performance against the joint business plan.

2.      Fixed lump sum income: These are typically guaranteed lump sum payments made by the supplier and are not based on volume. Fixed lump sum income is usually predicated on confirmation of a supplier contract and typically includes performance conditions upon the Group, such as marketing and promotional campaigns. These amounts are recognised periodically when contractual milestones have been met such as the promotion being run or marketing in-store.

3.      Growth income: These are tiered volumetric rebates relating to growth targets agreed with the supplier in the joint business planning process. These are retrospective rebates based on sales volumes or purchased volumes. Income is recognised to the extent that it is reasonably certain that the conditions will be achieved, with such certainty increasing in the latter part of the calendar year.

 

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) continued

1    Significant accounting policies (continued)

 

1.19 Revenue and cost of sales (continued)

Promotional income

Promotional income relates to supplier funded rebates specific to promotional activity run in agreement between the Group and its suppliers. Rebates are agreed at an individual inventory article level for agreed periods of time and are systemically calculated based on article sales information. No estimation is applied in calculating the promotional income receivable.

Supplier income is recognised on an accruals basis, based on the expected entitlement that has been earned up to the balance sheet date for each relevant supplier contract. The accrued incentives, rebates and discounts receivable at period end are included within trade and other receivables.

1.20  Expenses

Financing income and expenses

Financing expenses comprise interest payable under the effective interest rate method, incorporating amortisation of loan arrangement fees, finance charges on shares classified as liabilities, unwinding of the discount on provisions, interest on lease liabilities and net foreign exchange gains or losses that are recognised in the income statement (see foreign currency accounting policy). Borrowing costs that are directly attributable to the acquisition, construction or production of an asset that takes a substantial time to be prepared for use are capitalised as part of the cost of that asset. Financing income comprises interest receivable on funds invested, dividend income, and net foreign exchange gains.

Interest income and interest payable is recognised in profit or loss as it accrues, using the effective interest method. Dividend income is recognised in the income statement on the date the entity's right to receive payment is established. Foreign currency gains and losses are reported on a net basis.

1.21 Taxation

Tax on the profit or loss for the period comprises current and deferred tax. Tax is recognised in the income statement except to the extent that it relates to items recognised directly in equity, in which case it is recognised in equity.

Current tax is the expected tax payable or receivable on the taxable income or loss for the period, using tax rates enacted or substantively enacted at the balance sheet date, and any adjustment to tax payable in respect of previous periods.

Deferred tax is provided on temporary differences between the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities for financial reporting purposes and the amounts used for taxation purposes. The following temporary differences are not provided for: the initial recognition of goodwill; the initial recognition of assets or liabilities that affect neither accounting nor taxable profit other than in a business combination; and differences relating to investments in subsidiaries to the extent that they will probably not reverse in the foreseeable future. The amount of deferred tax provided is based on the expected manner of realisation or settlement of the carrying amount of assets and liabilities, using tax rates enacted or substantively enacted at the balance sheet date.

A deferred tax asset is recognised only to the extent that it is probable that future taxable profits will be available against which the temporary difference can be utilised.

1.22  Accounting estimates and judgements

The preparation of consolidated financial statements in conformity with IFRS requires management to make judgements, estimates and assumptions concerning the future that affect the application of accounting policies and the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, income and expenses. These judgements are based on historical experience and management's best knowledge at the time and the actual results may ultimately differ from these estimates. Estimates and underlying assumptions are reviewed on an ongoing basis and revisions to accounting estimates are recognised in the period in which the estimates are revised and in any future periods affected.

The estimates and assumptions that have a risk of causing an adjustment to the carrying value of assets and liabilities are explained below.

Impairment of goodwill and other intangibles (other estimate)

Determining whether goodwill and other intangibles are impaired requires an estimation of the value in use of the cash-generating units to which goodwill and other intangible assets have been allocated. The value in use calculation requires estimation of future cash flows expected to arise from the cash-generating unit (CGU) and a suitable discount rate in order to calculate present value. Details of CGUs as well as further information about the assumptions made are disclosed in note 13.  The Directors consider that it is not reasonably possible for the assumptions for the current financial year to change so significantly to warrant inclusion as a significant estimate but acknowledge that there is estimation uncertainty over the assumptions used in future financial periods when calculating future cash flows.

1.23  Dividends

Final dividends are recognised in the Group's financial statements as a liability in the period in which the dividends are approved by shareholders such that the Company is obliged to pay the dividend. Interim equity dividends are recognised in the period in which they are paid.

1.24 Non-underlying items

Income or costs considered by the Directors to be non-underlying are disclosed separately to facilitate year-on-year comparison of the underlying trade of the business.  The Directors consider non-underlying costs to be those that are not generated from ordinary business operations, infrequent in nature and unlikely to reoccur in the foreseeable future.

 

1.25 Alternative Performance Measures

The Directors measure the performance of the Group based on a range of financial measures, including measures not recognised by UK-adopted IFRS. These Alternative Performance Measures may not be directly comparable with other companies' Alternative Performance Measures and the Directors do not intend these to be a substitute for, or superior to, IFRS measures. Further information can be found in the Glossary on page 74.

 

1.26 Cash and cash equivalents

Cash and cash equivalents comprise cash balances and call deposits. Bank overdrafts that are repayable on demand and form an integral part of the Group's cash management are included as a component of cash and cash equivalents for the purposes of the cash flow statement and are only offset for balance sheet purposes where the offsetting criteria are met.

 

1.27 Prior year restatement on supplier discounts

In the current year the directors have reconsidered the presentation of supplier early payment discounts, previously offset against expenses within selling and distribution expenses, and have presented them as a reduction of the costs of the relevant inventory within cost of sales. Comparatives have been restated for consistency. As a result, selling and distributions expenses have increased by £6.3m and cost of sales have decreased by £6.3m.  There is no effect on profit for the year or net assets.

 

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) continued

2    Segmental reporting

 

The Group has three reportable segments, Retail, Vet Group and Central, which are the Group's strategic business units. The Group's operating segments are based on the internal management structure and internal management reports, which are reviewed by the Executive Directors on a periodic basis. The Executive Directors are considered to be the Chief Operating Decision Makers.

 

The Group is a pet care business with the strategic advantage of being able to provide products, services and advice, addressing all pet owners' needs. Within this strategic umbrella, the Group has three reportable segments, Retail, Vet Group and Central, which are the Group's strategic business units. The strategic business units offer different products and services, are managed separately and require different operational and marketing strategies.

 

The operations of the Retail reporting segment comprise the retailing of pet products purchased online and in-store, pet sales, grooming services and insurance products. The operations of the Vet Group reporting segment comprise General Practice veterinary practices and TVC. Central includes group costs and finance expenses. Revenue and costs are allocated to a segment where reasonably possible.

 

The following summary describes the operations in each of the Group's reportable segments. Performance is measured based on segment underlying operating profit as included in the management reports that are reviewed by the Executive Directors. These internal reports are prepared in accordance with IFRS accounting policies consistent with these financial statements. All material operations of the reportable segments are carried out in the UK and all revenue is from external customers.

 

 

 



52 week period ended 28 March 2024

Income statement



Retail

£m

   Vet Group

£m

Central

£m

Total

£m

Revenue



1,330.1

146.5

-

1,476.6

Underlying gross profit



614.1

77.2

-

691.3




 

 

 

 

Underlying operating profit/(loss)



100.4

60.9

(15.8)

145.5

Non-underlying items



(22.5)

(2.8)

(0.9)

(26.2)

Segment operating profit

 

 

77.9

58.1

(16.7)

119.3

Underlying net financing expense



(13.0)

0.7

(1.2)

(13.5)

Non-underlying financing expense



(0.1)

-

-

(0.1)

Profit before tax

 

 

64.8

58.8

(17.9)

105.7

Total non-underlying items

 

 

22.6

2.8

0.9

26.3

Underlying profit/(loss) before tax

 

 

87.4

61.6

(17.0)

132.0

 

Non-underlying operating expenses in the periods ended 28 March 2024 and 30 March 2023 are explained in note 3.

 

 



52 week period ended 30 March 2023 (restated) 1

Income statement



Retail

£m

   Vet Group

£m

Central

£m

Total

£m

Revenue



1,278.7

125.5

-

1,404.2

Underlying gross profit



607.8

66.8

-

674.6








Underlying operating profit/(loss)



109.9

52.1

(12.3)

149.7

Non-underlying items



(10.1)

-

(2.8)

(12.9)

Segment operating profit

 

 

99.8

52.1

(15.1)

136.8

Underlying net financing expense



(11.1)

(0.8)

(1.4)

(13.3)

Non-underlying financing expense



(1.0)

-

-

(1.0)

Profit before tax

 

 

87.7

51.3

(16.5)

122.5

Total non-underlying items

 

 

11.1

-

2.8

13.9

Underlying profit/(loss) before tax

 

 

98.8

51.3

(13.7)

136.4

1 See note 1.1 and note 1.27 for an explanation of the prior year restatements.

 

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) continued

2    Segmental reporting (continued)

 



52 week period ended 28 March 2024

Segmental revenue analysis by revenue stream 

 

 

Retail

£m

   Vet Group

£m

 

Total

£m

Retail - Food

 

 

814.2

-

 

814.2

Retail - Accessories

 

 

465.5

-

 

465.5

Retail - Services

 

 

50.4

-

 

50.4

Vet Group - Joint Venture fee income

 

 

-

89.3

 

89.3

Vet Group - Company managed practices

 

 

-

44.6

 

44.6

Vet Group - Other income

 

 

-

9.4

 

9.4

Vet Group - Veterinary telehealth services

 

 

-

3.2

 

3.2

Total

 

 

1,330.1

146.5

 

1,476.6


 

 

 



52 week period ended 30 March 2023 (restated) 1

Segmental revenue analysis by revenue stream 



Retail

£m

   Vet Group

£m

 

Total

£m

Retail - Food



744.8

-


744.8

Retail - Accessories



486.4

-


486.4

Retail - Services



47.5

-


47.5

Vet Group - Joint Venture fee income



-

77.2


77.2

Vet Group - Company managed practices



-

37.5


37.5

Vet Group - Other income



-

8.1


8.1

Vet Group - Veterinary telehealth services



-

2.7


2.7

Total

 

 

1,278.7

125.5

 

1,404.2

1 See note 1.1 for an explanation of the prior year restatement.

 

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) continued

3          Expenses and auditor's remuneration

Included in operating profit are the following:


52 week period ended 28 March 2024

£m

52 week

period ended

 30 March

2023

£m

Non-underlying items

 


Costs relating to the implementation of the new Distribution Centre



Provisions for voluntary redundancies for colleagues at existing Distribution Centres

0.8

2.1

Provisions for retention and relocation bonuses for colleagues at existing Distribution Centres

2.4

1.8

Pre-opening costs for new Distribution Centre

-

4.0

Dual running costs of operating new and existing Distribution Centres

4.5

0.4

Project management costs of opening new Distribution Centre

1.8

0.7

Depreciation of property plant and equipment at legacy sites

3.4

0.4

Depreciation of right-of-use assets (dual running costs)

3.1

0.7

Transitional costs of opening a new Distribution Centre

5.4

-


21.4

10.1

Group restructure costs

 


Group restructure costs

1.4

2.7

Depreciation of property plant and equipment (Group restructure costs)

0.8

-

Depreciation of right-of-use assets (Group restructure costs)

0.6

-

Legal settlement costs

0.9

-


3.7

2.7

Other non-underlying items

 


Impairment of investment

1.1

-

Aborted transaction costs

-

0.1

 

1.1

0.1

 

 


Total non-underlying items within operating profit

26.2

12.9

Interest expense on the lease liabilities of the Distribution Centres

0.1

1.0

Total non-underlying items

26.3

13.9

 

 


Underlying items

 


Impairment gains on receivables

(1.0)

(2.0)

Software as a service (SaaS) expense

27.9

29.9

Depreciation of property, plant and equipment

26.5

25.7

Amortisation of intangible assets

10.1

9.8

Depreciation of right-of-use assets

65.1

66.8

Rentals under operating leases:

 


Expenses relating to short term or low value leases

-

0.1

Other income

 


Rental income from sub-leasing right-of-use assets to third parties

(0.2)

(0.3)

Rental and other occupancy income from related parties1

(12.7)

(12.2)

Share-based payment charges

5.9

4.9

1Rental and other occupancy income from related parties is included in other income.

Non-underlying items in operating profit

New Distribution Centre and closure of the legacy sites

During the period the Group has incurred a number of costs in relation to the process of bringing into operation a new Distribution Centre to replace the existing legacy Distribution Centres. The process is a significant operational change for the Group, outside of the ordinary course of business and is not expected as a recurring event. As part of the transition, the Group has incurred operational and payroll costs which it has classified as non-underlying. The items are split out as follows:

£0.8m (£2.1m in the in the 52 week period ended 30 March 2023) of non-underlying charges relate to a provision for voluntary redundancies for colleagues employed within the existing Distribution Centres as part of the transition.

£2.4m (£1.8m in the 52 week period ended 30 March 2023) of non-underlying charges relate to a provision for retention bonuses for colleagues at the existing Distribution Centres to remain employed by the Group until the point at which the sites close as well as relocation costs for employees.

£4.5m (£0.4m in the 52 week period ended 30 March 2023) of non-underlying charges relate to costs incurred whilst the existing Distribution Centres and the new Distribution Centre are both in operation. These costs incurred are temporary and will not continue after the closure of the existing Distribution Centres.

£1.8m (£0.7m in the 52 week period ended 30 March 2023) of non-underlying charges relate to project management costs of opening the new Distribution Centre, including the transfer of inventory from the existing Distribution Centres.

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) continued

3          Expenses and auditor's remuneration (continued)

£6.5m is in relation to depreciation charges of the legacy assets, £0.8m (£0.4m in the 52 week period ended 30 March 2023) relates to the routine depreciation during the year, £2.6m within this cost in relation to accelerated depreciation and £3.1m (£0.7m in the 52 week period ended 30 March 2023) in relation to depreciation of the right-of-use assets.

£5.4m of non-underlying charges relate to costs incurred to transition the operations over to the new site. These costs include costs incurred in  training new employees, are temporary and will not continue after the new Distribution Centre is fully operational.

 

A further £0.1m of dual running costs relates to the interest expense on the lease liabilities of the Distribution Centres. This is shown within finance expenses below operating profit on the consolidated income statement.

Group restructure

During the period the Group conducted a support office restructure. The non-underlying charges are split out as follows:

£1.4m (£2.7m in the 52 week period ended 30 March 2023) in restructure costs primarily relate to retention and redundancy payments.

£0.8m in relation to accelerated depreciation of premises no longer required as the group now operates from one support office following the restructure and £0.6m in relation to depreciation of the associated right-of-use assets.

£0.9m relating to settlement costs.

Other non-underlying costs

The remaining non-underlying items relate to:

£1.1m of non-underlying charges relate to the impairment of the Group's investment in Dog Stay Limited ('Tailster').

Income or costs considered by the Directors to be non-underlying are disclosed separately to facilitate year-on-year comparison of the underlying trade of the business. The Directors consider non-underlying costs to be those that are not generated from ordinary business operations, infrequent in nature and unlikely to reoccur in the foreseeable future.

Additonal non-underlying charges made during the 52 weeks ending 30 March 2023 relate to:

£4.0m of non-underlying charges relate to pre-opening costs for the new Distribution Centre such as rent and utilities which have been incurred despite the site not yet being fully operational.

£0.1m of non-underlying charges relate to aborted transaction costs.

Underlying items

The rentals under short term leases disclosed in relation to the 52 week period ended 28 March 2024 and the 52 week period ended 30 March 2023 relate to leases under short-term agreements or of low value. These fall under the short-term and low value exemptions so are excluded from the requirements of IFRS16 on the basis that the lease terms are 12 months or less.

Auditor's remuneration


52 week period ended 28 March 2024

£m

52 week period ended 30 March 2023

£m

Audit of the parent company financial statements

-

-

Amounts receivable by the Company's auditor and its associates in respect of:



Audit of financial statements of subsidiaries pursuant to legislation

1.3

1.3

Review of interim financial statements

0.1

0.1

Other assurance services

-

-


1.4

1.4

 

4    Colleague numbers and costs

The average number of persons employed by the Group (including Directors) during the period, analysed by category, was as follows:


52 week period ended 28 March 2024

Number

52 week

period ended 30 March

2023

Number

Sales and distribution - FTE

7,297

7,063

Administration - FTE

1,072

960


8,369

8,023


 


Sales and distribution - total

10,924

10,371

Administration - total

1,107

1,006


12,031

11,377


 

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) continued

4    Colleague numbers and costs (continued)

The aggregate payroll costs of these persons were as follows:


52 week period ended 28 March 2024

£m

52 week period ended 30 March 2023

£m

Wages and salaries

282.9

261.9

Social security costs

24.8

23.0

Contributions to defined contribution pension plans

10.0

8.6


317.7

293.5

 

Remuneration of Directors and Executive Management Team


52 week period ended 28 March 2024

£m

52 week period ended 30 March 2023

£m

Executive Directors' remuneration paid in respect of qualifying services

2.3

2.9

Non-Executive Directors' remuneration paid in respect of qualifying services

0.6

0.6

Executive Directors' amount of gains on the exercise of share options

0.7

1.3

Executive Directors' pension contributions

0.1

0.1

Total Directors' remuneration

3.7

4.9




Executive Management Team remuneration paid in respect of qualifying services

6.5

7.1

Executive Management Team amount of gains on the exercise of share options

2.6

2.7

Executive Management Team pension contributions

0.2

0.2

Total Executive Management Team remuneration

9.3

10.0

In the opinion of the Board, the key management as defined under revised IAS24 Related Party Disclosures are the Executive Directors, Non-Executive Directors and the Executive Management Team. Executive Directors' emoluments are also included within the Executive Management Team emoluments disclosed above. There are no further amounts, other than those noted above, receivable under long term incentive schemes by the Directors or Executive Management team.

The number of directors who received pensions contributions in the 52 weeks period ended 28 March 2024 is two for executive directors (three in the 52 week period ended 30 March 2023) and nine in the executive management team (nine in the 52 week period ended 30 March 2023).

 

5    Earnings per share

Basic earnings per share is calculated by dividing the net profit for the period attributable to ordinary shareholders by the weighted average number of ordinary shares outstanding during the period.

Diluted earnings per share is calculated by dividing the net profit for the period attributable to ordinary shareholders by the weighted average number of ordinary shares outstanding during the period plus the weighted average number of ordinary shares that would be issued on the conversion of all dilutive potential ordinary shares into ordinary shares.


52 week period ended 28 March 2024

52 week period ended 30 March 2023

Underlying

 trading

After non-underlying

items

Underlying

 trading

After non-underlying

items

Profit attributable to equity shareholders of the parent (£m)

98.9

79.2

112.0

100.7

Basic weighted average number of shares

477.7

477.7

491.9

491.9

Dilutive potential ordinary shares

5.0

5.0

6.5

6.5

Diluted weighted average number of shares

482.7

482.7

498.4

498.4

Basic earnings per share

20.7p

16.6p

22.8p

20.5p

Diluted earnings per share

20.5p

16.4p

22.5p

20.2p

 

 

6    Finance income


52 week period ended 28 March 2024

£m

52 week period ended 30 March 2023

£m

Interest receivable on loans to Joint Venture veterinary practices

0.5

0.4

Other interest receivable

3.5

2.3

Total finance income

4.0

2.7

 

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) continued

 

7    Finance expense


52 week period ended 28 March 2024

£m

52 week period ended 30 March 2023

£m

Bank loans at effective interest rate

4.3

4.6

Underlying interest expense on lease liability

13.2

11.4

Non-underlying interest expense on lease liability

0.1

1.0

Total finance expense

17.6

17.0

 

8    Taxation

Recognised in the income statement


52 week period ended 28 March 2024

£m

52 week period ended 30 March 2023

£m

Current tax expense



Current period

22.7

24.2

Adjustments in respect of prior periods

(1.4)

(0.9)

Current tax expense

21.3

23.3

Deferred tax expense

 


Origination and reversal of temporary differences

6.9

(0.6)

Impact of difference between deferred and current tax rates

-

(0.1)

Adjustments in respect of prior periods

(1.7)

(0.8)

Deferred tax expense

5.2

(1.5)

Total tax expense

26.5

21.8

The UK corporation tax standard rate for the period was 25% (2023: 19%). Deferred tax at 28 March 2024 has been calculated based on the rate of 25% which is the rate at which the majority of items are expected to reverse. This is due to the increase in the main rate of corporation tax to 25% from April 2023, which was substantively enacted on 24 May 2021.

Deferred tax recognised in comprehensive income


52 week period ended 28 March 2024

£m

52 week period ended 30 March 2023

£m

Effective portion of changes in fair value of cash flow hedges (note 22)

(0.3)

(1.3)

 

Reconciliation of effective tax rate


52 week period ended 28 March 2024

52 week period ended 30 March 2023


Underlying trading

£m

Non-underlying items

£m

Total

£m

Underlying trading

£m

Non-underlying items

£m

Total

£m

Profit for the period

98.9

(19.7)

79.2

112.0

(11.3)

100.7

Total tax expense/(credit)

33.1

(6.6)

26.5

24.4

(2.6)

21.8

Profit excluding taxation

132.0

(26.3)

105.7

136.4

(13.9)

122.5

Tax using the UK corporation tax rate for the period of 25% (52 week period ended 30 March 2023: 19%)

33.0

(6.6)

26.4

25.9

(2.6)

23.3

Impact of difference between deferred and current tax rates

-

-

-

(0.1)

-

(0.1)

Depreciation on expenditure not eligible for tax relief

1.1

-

1.1

0.8

-

0.8

Capital allowances super-deduction

-

-

-

(1.7)

-

(1.7)

Expenditure not eligible for tax relief

2.1

-

2.1

1.1

-

1.1

Adjustments in respect of prior periods

(3.1)

-

(3.1)

(1.6)

-

(1.6)

Total tax expense

33.1

(6.6)

26.5

24.4

(2.6)

21.8

The UK corporation tax standard rate for the 52 week period ended 28 March 2024 was 25% (52 week period ended 30 March 2023: 19%). The effective tax rate before non-underlying items for the 52 week period ended 28 March 2024 was 25.1% (52 week period ended 30 March 2023: 17.9%). The effective tax rate after non-underlying items for the 52 week period ended 28 March 2024 was 25.1% (52 week period ended 30 March 2023: 17.8%).

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) continued

9    Dividends paid and proposed


Group and Company


52 week period ended

 28 March 2024

£m

52 week period ended

 30 March 2023

£m

Declared and paid during the period



Final dividend of 8.3p per share (2022: 7.5p per share)

39.5

37.0

Interim dividend of 4.5p per share (2023: 4.5p per share)

21.2

21.7

Proposed for approval by shareholders at the AGM

 


Final dividend of 8.3p per share (2023: 8.3p per share)

38.8

40.1


 


The trustees of the following holdings of Pets at Home Group Plc shares under the Pets at Home Group Employee Benefit Trust have waived or otherwise foregone any and all dividends paid in relation to the periods ended 28 March 2024 and 30 March 2023 and to be paid at any time in the future (subject to the exceptions in the relevant trust deed) on its respective shares for the time being comprised in the trust funds:

Computershare Nominees (Channel Islands) Limited (holding at 28 March 2024: 5,564,701 shares; holding at 30 March 2023: 5,323,525 shares).

 

10  Business combinations

In the 52 week period ended 28 March 2024, the Group has acquired 100% of the 'A' shares of eight veterinary practices and 75% of the 'A' shares of one veterinary practice, which were previously accounted for as Joint Venture veterinary practices. These practices were previously accounted for as Joint Venture veterinary practices as the Group only held 100% of the non-participatory 'B' ordinary shares, equating to 50% of the total shares. Acquisition of all or the majority of the 'A' shares has led to the control and consolidation of these practices. A detailed explanation for the basis of consolidation can be found in note 1.4.

 

In the 52 week period ended 28 March 2024, £1.6m of operating loans relating to these practices were written off in advance of the acquisitions (see note 17).

 

Up to the date of acquisition and in the comparative period being the 52 week period ending 30 March 2023, these entities listed below were all accounted for as a Joint Venture veterinary practice where the Group held 100% of the non-participatory 'B' ordinary shares. Acquisition of the 'A' shares has led to the control and consolidation of these practices on the dates below, leading to control from the date of acquisition and consolidation from that date forward.

 

Subsidiaries acquired in the 52 week period ended 28 March 2024


Principal activity

Date of acquisition

Proportion of voting equity instruments acquired

Total proportion of voting equity instruments owned following the acquisition

Cash consideration transferred

£m

Leigh Vets4Pets Limited

Veterinary practice

22/06/2023

50%

100%

-

Companion Care (Telford)Limited

Veterinary practice

07/07/2023

50%

100%

0.2

Companion Care (Farnham) Limited

Veterinary practice

10/11/2023

50%

100%

0.1

Wakefield Vets4Pets Limited

Veterinary practice

22/12/2023

50%

100%

0.2

Tilehurst Vets4Pets Limited

Veterinary practice

08/01/2024

50%

100%

0.1

Companion Care (Salisbury) Limited

Veterinary practice

24/01/2024

50%

100%

0.2

Companion Care (Kings Lynn) Limited

Veterinary practice

13/02/2024

50%

100%

0.1

Larne Vets4Pets Limited

Veterinary practice

14/03/2024

50%

100%

0.1

Gamston Vets4Pets Limited

Veterinary practice

29/02/2024

50%

75%

-

 

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) continued

10  Business combinations (continued)

 

Assets acquired and liabilities recognised at the date of acquisition

The amounts recognised in respect of identifiable assets and liabilities relating to the acquisitions are as follows. The acquisition disclosures have been combined as each acquisition is considered to be individually immaterial to the Group. On acquisition, assets and liabilities are revalued to fair value. Pre existing relationships between the Group and acquired Joint Venture practice are not considered part of the business combination and have been removed from the fair values of assets and liabilities recognised on acquisition.

 


 

 

Fair value of assets and liabilities acquired

£m

Current assets


 





Trade and other receivables


 




0.2

Inventories


 




0.1

Non-current assets


 





Tangible fixed assets


 




0.4

Current liabilities


 





Bank loans


 




(0.2)

Trade and other payables


 




(0.5)

Net assets /(liabilities)

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

Goodwill arising on acquisition


£m

Consideration

1.0

Less: Fair value of assets acquired

-

Goodwill arising on acquisition

1.0

Impairment of goodwill

-

Carrying value of goodwill

1.0

 

The consideration shown within the table above relates to both consideration for the purchase of A-shares and cash settlement of 'A' shareholder Joint Venture Partner loans, which were repaid to the 'A' shareholder at the point of acquisition.

 

The goodwill acquired on the purchase of the nine Joint Venture practices has been allocated to the Vet Group CGU and relates to expected future cashflows from combining operations.

 

In the 52 week period ended 30 March 2023, the Group acquired 100% of the 'A' shares of six veterinary practices, which were previously accounted for as Joint Venture veterinary practices. These practices were previously accounted for as Joint Venture veterinary practices as the Group only held 100% of the non-participatory 'B' ordinary shares, equating to 50% of the total shares. Acquisition of the 'A' shares has led to the control and consolidation of these practices. A detailed explanation for the basis of consolidation can be found in note 1.4.

 

In the 52 week period ended 30 March 2023, £2.0m of operating loans relating to these practices were written off in advance of the acquisitions.

 

Subsidiaries acquired in the 52 week period ended 30 March 2023


Principal activity

Date of acquisition

Proportion of voting equity instruments acquired

Total proportion of voting equity instruments owned following the acquisition

Cash consideration transferred

£m

Accrington Vets4Pets Limited

Veterinary practice

16/06/2022

50%

100%

-

Companion Care (Banbury) Limited

Veterinary practice

24/06/2022

50%

100%

-

Companion Care (Chippenham) Limited

Veterinary practice

28/06/2022

50%

100%

-

Bangor Wales Vets4Pets Limited

Veterinary practice

19/10/2022

50%

100%

-

Newtownards Vets4Pets Limited

Veterinary practice

24/11/2022

50%

100%

-

Companion Care (Llantrisant) Limited

Veterinary practice

07/03/2023

50%

100%

0.5

 

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) continued

10  Business combinations (continued)

 

 


Book value of assets and

liabilities acquired

£m

Adjustments on acquisition

£m

Fair value of assets and liabilities acquired

£m

Current assets


 





Cash and cash equivalents


 


0.1

-

0.1

Trade and other receivables


 


0.1

-

0.1

Inventories


 


0.1

-

0.1

Non-current assets


 





Tangible fixed assets


 


0.3

-

0.3

Intangible assets


 


0.1

0.3

0.4

Non-current liabilities


 





Lease liabilities


 


-

-

-

Current liabilities


 





Bank loans


 


(0.2)

-

(0.2)

Overdrafts


 


(0.2)

-

(0.2)

Partner loans


 


(0.4)

0.4

-

Trade and other payables


 


(2.4)

2.1

(0.3)

Net (liabilities)/assets

 

 

 

(2.5)

2.8

0.3

 

 

Assets acquired and liabilities recognised at the date of acquisition

The amounts recognised in respect of identifiable assets and liabilities relating to the acquisitions are as follows. The acquisition disclosures have been combined as each acquisition is considered to be individually immaterial to the Group.

 

Goodwill arising on acquisition of veterinary practice subsidiaries in 52 week period ended 30 March 2023


£m

Consideration

0.5

Less: Fair value of assets acquired

(0.3)

Goodwill arising on acquisition

0.2

Impairment of goodwill

-

Carrying value of goodwill

0.2

 

 

The consideration shown within the table above relates to both consideration for the purchase of A-shares and cash settlement of 'A' shareholder Joint Venture Partner loans, which were repaid to the 'A' shareholder at the point of acquisition.

 

In line with IFRS3, the right-of-use asset has been brought on at value equal to the lease liability, adjusted for any unfavourable market conditions. These leases relate to standalone veterinary practices.

 

The goodwill acquired on the purchase of the six Joint Venture practices has been allocated to the Vet Group CGU.

 

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) continued

 

11  Property, plant and equipment

 


Freehold property

£m

Leasehold improvements

£m

Fixtures, fittings, tools and equipment

£m

Assets under construction

£m

Total

£m

Cost






Balance at 30 March 2023

2.4

78.0

296.4

28.5

405.3

Additions

-

5.9

30.9

-

36.8

On acquisition (note 10)

-

0.4

-

-

0.4

Transfers1

-

-

-

5.7

5.7

Brought into use

-

(0.1)

19.9

(19.8)

-

Disposals

-

(1.7)

(1.8)

-

(3.5)

Balance at 28 March 2024

2.4

82.5

345.4

14.4

444.7

Depreciation

 

 

 

 

 

Balance at 30 March 2023

0.4

36.7

221.3

-

258.4

Depreciation charge for the period

-

5.9

24.8

-

30.7

Disposals

-

(1.1)

(1.4)

-

(2.5)

Balance at 28 March 2024

0.4

41.5

244.7

-

286.6

Net book value

 

 

 

 

 

At 30 March 2023

2.0

41.3

75.1

28.5

146.9

At 28 March 2024

2.0

41.0

100.7

14.4

158.1

1 The transfers balance of £5.7m is in relation to assets previously categorised within software under construction within intangibles.

 


Freehold property

£m

Leasehold improvements

£m

Fixtures, fittings, tools and equipment

£m

Assets under construction

£m

Total

£m

Cost






Balance at 31 March 2022

2.4

65.7

261.6

12.7

342.4

Additions

-

11.7

34.5

19.1

65.3

On acquisition (note 10)

-

0.2

0.1

-

0.3

Brought into use

-

0.8

0.8

(1.6)

-

Transfers

-

-

-

(1.7)

(1.7)

Disposals

-

(0.4)

(0.6)

-

(1.0)

Balance at 30 March 2023

2.4

78.0

296.4

28.5

405.3

Depreciation






Balance at 31 March 2022

0.4

32.9

200.2

-

233.5

Depreciation charge for the period

-

4.4

21.7

-

26.1

Disposals

-

(0.6)

(0.6)

-

(1.2)

Balance at 30 March 2023

0.4

36.7

221.3

-

258.4

Net book value






At 31 March 2022

2.0

32.8

61.4

12.7

108.9

At 30 March 2023

2.0

41.3

75.1

28.5

146.9

 

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) continued

12 Leases

As lessee

Property, plant and equipment comprise owned and leased assets that do not meet the definition of investment property.

 

The majority of the Group's trading stores, standalone veterinary practices, Distribution Centres and Support Offices are leased under operating leases with remaining lease terms of between 1 and 20 years. The Group also has a number of non-property operating leases relating to vehicle, equipment and material handling equipment with remaining lease terms of between 1 and 6 years.

Right-of-use assets


Property

£m

Equipment

£m

Total

£m

Cost




Balance at 30 March 2023

614.8

20.3

635.1

Additions

27.2

2.6

29.8

Disposals

(1.5)

(0.7)

(2.2)

Balance at 28 March 2024

640.5

22.2

662.7

Depreciation




Balance at 30 March 2023

263.5

12.0

275.5

Depreciation charge for the period

64.5

4.3

68.8

Disposals

(0.2)

(0.7)

(0.9)

Balance at 28 March 2024

327.8

15.6

343.4

Net book value




At 30 March 2023

351.3

8.3

359.6

At 28 March 2024

312.7

6.6

319.3

 

 The costs relating to leases for which the Group applied the practical expedient described in paragraph 5a of IFRS16 (leases with a contract term of less than 12 months) amounted to £0.0m in the 52 week period ended 28 March 2024.

 


Property

£m

Equipment

£m

Total

£m

Cost




Balance at 31 March 2022

531.6

16.6

548.2

Additions

83.4

4.0

87.4

Cost reallocation

(0.2)

-

(0.2)

Disposals

-

(0.3)

(0.3)

Balance at 30 March 2023

614.8

20.3

635.1

Depreciation




Balance at 31 March 2022

199.2

8.9

208.1

Depreciation charge for the period

64.1

3.4

67.5

Cost reallocation

0.2

-

0.2

Disposals

-

(0.3)

(0.3)

Balance at 30 March 2023

263.5

12.0

275.5

Net book value




At 31 March 2022

332.4

7.7

340.1

At 30 March 2023

351.3

8.3

359.6

 

The costs relating to leases for which the Group applied the practical expedient described in paragraph 5a of IFRS16 (leases with a contract term of less than 12 months) amounted to £0.1m in the 52 week period ended 30 March 2023.

 

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) continued

12 Leases (continued)

The following table sets out the maturity analysis of lease payments, showing the undiscounted lease payments to be paid after the reporting date:

Maturity analysis - contractual undiscounted cash flows


At 28 March 2024

£m

 At 30 March 2023

£m

Less than one year

79.8

83.3

Between one and three years

133.9

145.3

Between three and five years

86.1

99.5

Between five and ten years

96.5

103.9

More than ten years

43.0

59.4

Total undiscounted lease liabilities

439.3

491.4

Carrying value of lease liabilities included in the statement of financial position

380.8

421.4

Current

79.8

83.3

Non-current

301.0

338.1

 

For the lease liabilities at 28 March 2024 a 0.1% change in the discount rate used would have increased the carrying value of lease liabilities by £1.0m (30 March 2023: £1.8m).

 

In relation to new leases and lease extensions entered into by the Group during the period, these are discounted at the rate implicit in the lease which ranges from 4.8% to 5.4% depending on the length of the lease and reflect the impact of increases to the Bank of England base rate during the period.

 

Surplus and short term leases

The Group has a small number of surplus leases on properties from which it no longer trades. A small number of these properties are currently vacant or the sublet is not for the full term of the lease and there is deemed to be a risk on the sublet. These leases are included within the lease balances disclosed on the face of the balance sheet and a related provision has been made for other property costs relating to these properties in note 21.

 

The Group has a small number of short term leases on properties from which it no longer trades, or a subsection of a trading retail store. These properties are sublet to third parties at contracted rates.

 

In line with IAS36, the carrying value of the right-of-use asset is assessed for indicators of impairment and an impairment charge will be recognised if necessary. An onerous lease provision was recognised where management believed there was a risk of default or where the property remained vacant for a period of time. As part of this review the Group has assessed the ability to sub-lease the property and the right-of-use asset has been written down to £nil where the Group does not consider a sublease likely.

 

 

13 Intangible assets


Goodwill

£m

Customer lists and 'know-how'

£m

Software

£m

Software under construction

£m

Total

£m

Cost






Balance at 30 March 2023

959.3

7.0

71.7

8.3

1,046.3

Additions

1.0

-

6.1

- 

7.1

Transfers1

-

-

-

(5.7)

(5.7)

Brought into use

-

-

2.4

(2.4)

- 

Disposals

(0.8)

(0.4)

(0.1)

- 

(1.3)

Balance at 28 March 2024

959.5

6.6

80.1

0.2

1,046.4

Amortisation






Balance at 30 March 2023

0.1

1.7

55.0

-

56.8

Amortisation charge for the period

-

0.2

9.9

- 

10.1

Disposals

-

(0.2)

-

(0.2)

Balance at 28 March 2024

0.1

1.7

64.9

-

66.7

Net book value






At 30 March 2023

959.2

5.3

16.7

8.3

989.5

At 28 March 2024

959.4

4.9

15.2

0.2

979.7

1 Transfers balance of (£5.7)m relates to assets previously categorised within software under construction which are now within property, plant and equipment.

 

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) continued

13  Intangible assets (continued)


Goodwill

£m

Customer lists and 'know-how'

£m

Software

£m

Software under construction

£m

Total

£m

Cost






Balance at 31 March 2022

959.1

6.7

68.3

-

1,034.1

Additions

-

-

5.5

4.5

10.0

On acquisition (note 10)

0.2

0.4

-

-

0.6

Transfers1

-

-

(4.0)

5.7

1.7

Brought into use

-

-

1.9

(1.9)

-

Disposals

-

(0.1)

-

-

(0.1)

Balance at 30 March 2023

959.3

7.0

71.7

8.3

1,046.3

Amortisation






Balance at 31 March 2022

0.1

1.0

45.9

-

47.0

Amortisation charge for the period

-

0.7

9.1

-

9.8

Balance at 30 March 2023

0.1

1.7

55.0

-

56.8

Net book value






At 31 March 2022

959.0

5.7

22.4

-

987.1

At 30 March 2023

959.2

5.3

16.7

8.3

989.5

1Included within the cost of assets under construction in fixed assets brought forward at 31 March 2022 was £1.7m which related to software assets under construction. These have been reallocated to intangible assets as at 30 March 2023. A further £4.0m of software assets under construction were classified as software assets in use at 31 March 2022. These have been reallocated to software assets under construction.

 

Impairment testing

Cash generating units ('CGUs'), as defined by IAS36, within the Group are considered to be aligned to the operating segments as shown in the table below. Within the Retail operating segment, the CGU comprises the body of stores, online operations, grooming operations and insurance operations. Within the Vet Group operating segment, the CGU comprises the General Practice veterinary practices and the veterinary telehealth business, hereafter disclosed as The Vet Connection ('TVC'). Revenue and costs are allocated to a segment and CGU where reasonably possible.

During the 52 weeks ending 28 March 2024, the Group incorporated TVC into the Vet Group segment and TVC no longer generates independent cashflows, since its resources are now pooled with the resources of the Vet Group . On this basis, management have concluded that the TVC business is no longer a standalone CGU as it is not capable of generating independent cashflows and has been subsumed into the Vet Group CGU.

As at 28 March 2024 and 30 March 2023, the Group is deemed to have CGUs as follows:


Goodwill

At 28 March 2024

£m

At 30 March

2023

£m

Retail

586.1

586.1

TVC1

-

11.1

Vet Group

373.3

362.0

Total

959.4

959.2

The recoverable amount of the CGU has been calculated with reference to its value in use. The key assumptions of this calculation are shown below:


52 week period

ended

28 March 2024

 

52 week period ended

30 March 2023

 

Retail

Vet Group

Retail

Vet Group

TVC1

 

Period on which management approved forecasts are based (years)


5

5

5

5

5

 

Growth rate applied beyond approved forecast period


2.0%

3.5%

2.0%

3.5%

2.0%

 

Discount rate (pre-tax)


11%

12%

12%

11%

11%

 

Gross profit margin (average over next 5 years)


45%

60%

46%

61%

61%

 

1TVC was incorporated within the Vet group reporting in the 52 weeks ending 28 March 2024.

The goodwill is considered to have an indefinite useful economic life and the recoverable amount is determined based on 'value-in-use' calculations. These calculations use a post-tax cash flow projection based on a five-year plan approved by the Board. For the purposes of intangible asset impairment testing, the model removes all cash flows associated with business units (for example stores or practices yet to open, but within the planning horizon) which the Group has a strategic intention to invest capital in, but has not yet done so, thus ensuring that the future cash flows used in modelling for impairment exclude any cash flows where the investment is yet to take place, in accordance with the requirements of IAS36 to exclude capital expenditure to improve asset performance. Contributions from and costs associated with new stores and veterinary practices which are already operational at the impairment test date are included in the cash flows. Cashflows related to the central segment have been allocated between both CGUs on a proportionate basis. The Group reviews components within CGUs such as stores and veterinary practices for indicators of impairment. This approach is consistent with impairment reviews carried out in the 2023 financial statements.

 

 

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) continued

13  Intangible assets (continued)

Impairment testing (continued)

 

The Retail forecast assumptions reflect continual innovation and our deep understanding of our customers, incorporating assumptions based on past experience of the industry, products and markets in which the CGU operates, in order to generate the detailed assumptions used in the annual budget setting process, and five year strategic planning process. The Vet Group forecast assumptions are based on a deep understanding of the maturity profile of the practices and their performance, incorporating assumptions based on past experience of the industry, services and markets in which the CGU operates in order to generate the detailed assumptions used in the annual budget setting process, and five year strategic planning process. These linkages are embedded in the revenue growth assumption as a result of offering online veterinary consultations as an additional service to Joint Venture veterinary practices. The projections are based on all available information and growth rates do not exceed growth rates experienced in prior periods. A different set of assumptions may be more appropriate in future years depending on changes in the macro-economic environment and the industry in which each CGU operates. The Group has considered key risk factors such as climate change, recessionary impacts, current geopolitical tensions, continuing global supply chain issues, inflationary pressures and the impact of consumer confidence in addition to the impact of climate change and in particular the risks identified in the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures ('TCFD') scenario analysis conducted in undertaking this assessment.

The discount rate was estimated based on past experience and the weighted average cost of capital is adjusted to reflect a market participant view. A post tax discount rate was used within the value in use calculation and adjustments made to calculate the pre-tax discount rate which is disclosed above in line with IAS36 requirements.

The Directors have assumed a growth rate projection beyond the five-year period based on market growth rates based on past experience within the Group, taking into account the economic growth forecasts within the relevant industries. The long-term growth rate in the Vet Group CGU exceeds the long-term average for the UK but is an appropriate rate due to the growth in the petcare industry.

The total recoverable amount in respect of goodwill for the CGUs assessed by the Directors using the above assumptions is greater than the carrying amount and therefore no impairment charge has been recorded in each period.

Within the Retail and Vet Group CGUs, a number of sensitivities have been applied to the assumptions in reaching this conclusion including:

- Reduction in growth rate applied beyond forecast period by 100 bps

- Increasing the discount rate by 100 bps

- Reduction in gross margin percentage of 100 bps

None of the above, considered reasonably possible changes in assumptions, would result in impairment when applied either individually or collectively.

The Directors consider that it is not reasonably possible for the assumptions to change so significantly as to eliminate the excess of the recoverable amount over the carrying value.

 

14  Inventories


At 28 March 2024 £m

At 30 March 2023 £m

Finished goods

97.5

108.6

 

The cost of inventories recognised as an expense and included in 'cost of sales' is £687.1m (52 week period ended 30 March 2023: £642.6m).

Inventory expensed to cost of sales includes the cost of the Stock Keeping Units ('SKUs') sold, supplier income, stock wastage and foreign exchange variances.

At 28 March 2024 the inventory provision amounted to £4.1m (30 March 2023: £4.0m). The inventory provision is calculated by reference to the age of the SKU and the length of time it is expected to take to sell. The provision percentages applied in calculating the provision are as follows:

Discontinued stock greater than 365 days: 100%

Current stock greater than 365 days with a use by date: 50%

Current stock within 180 and 365 days with a use by date: 25%

Greater than 180 days with no use by date: 25%

 

In addition, a provision is held to account for store stock losses during the period since which the SKU was last counted. The value of inventory against which an ageing provision is held is £8.5m (30 March 2023: £8.4m).

 

In the 52 week period ended 28 March 2024, the value of inventory written off to the income statement amounted to £10.3m (52 week period ended 30 March 2023: £9.6m).

 

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) continued

15  Deferred tax assets and liabilities

 

Recognised deferred tax assets and liabilities

Deferred tax assets and liabilities are attributable to the following:


At 28 March 2024

At 30 March 2023

Assets

£m

Liabilities

£m

Total

£m

Assets

£m

Liabilities

£m

Total

£m

Property, plant and equipment

-

(6.1)

(6.1)

-

(2.2)

(2.2)

Financial assets

0.2

-

0.2

1.0

-

1.0

Financial liabilities

-

-

-

(0.5)

(0.5)

Other short term timing differences

1.9

(0.8)

1.1

3.4

(0.9)

2.5

Share based payments

0.1

-

0.1

1.1

-

1.1

Net deferred tax assets/(liabilities)

2.2

(6.9)

(4.7)

5.5

(3.6)

1.9

 

Movement in deferred tax during the period


30 March

2023

£m

 

Recognised in income

£m

Recognised in equity

£m

28 March

2024

£m

Property, plant and equipment

(2.2)

 

(3.9)

-

(6.1)

Net financial assets/(liabilities)

0.5

 

-

(0.3)

0.2

Other short term timing differences

2.5

 

(1.4)

-

1.1

Share based payments

1.1

 

-

(1.0)

0.1


1.9

 

(5.3)

(1.3)

(4.7)

 

Other short-term timing differences primarily relate to inventory provisions.

Movement in deferred tax during the prior period


31 March

2022

£m

 

Recognised in income

£m

Recognised in equity

£m

30 March

2023

£m

Property, plant and equipment

1.9


(4.1)

-

(2.2)

Net financial assets/(liabilities)

(0.8)


-

1.3

0.5

Other short term timing differences

(3.1)


5.6

-

2.5

Share based payments

3.1


-

(2.0)

1.1


1.1


1.5

(0.7)

1.9

 

Company

Movement in deferred tax during the period


30 March

2023

£m


Recognised in income

£m

Recognised in equity

£m

28 March

2024

£m

Net financial liabilities

(0.4)


-

0.4

-

Other short term timing differences

2.1


(1.3)

-

0.8

Share based payments

1.1


-

(1.0)

0.1


2.8


(1.3)

(0.6)

0.9

The rate used to calculate deferred tax assets and liabilities is 25% based on the rate at which the majority of items are expected to reverse.

Movement in deferred tax during the period


31 March

2022

£m


Recognised in income

£m

Recognised in equity

£m

30 March

2023

£m

Net financial liabilities

(0.3)


-

(0.1)

(0.4)

Other short term timing differences

-


2.1

-

2.1

Share based payments

3.1


-

(2.0)

1.1


2.8


2.1

(2.1)

2.8

The rate used to calculate deferred tax assets and liabilities is 25% based on a blended rate at which the majority of items are expected to reverse.

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) continued

16  Other financial assets and liabilities


Group

Company

At 28 March 2024 £m

At 30 March 2023 £m

At 28 March 2024 £m

At 30 March 2023 £m

Non-current assets





Investments in Joint Venture veterinary practices

2.7

0.4

-

-

Loans to Joint Venture veterinary practices - initial set up loans

5.2

6.6

-

-

Loans to Joint Venture veterinary practices - other loans

0.5

1.2

-

-

Other investments

2.0

2.1

-

-

Other receivables

0.5

 

0.6

-

-


10.9

10.9

-

-

 

Investments in Joint Venture veterinary practices

The Investments in Joint Venture veterinary practices balance of £2.7m (2023: £0.4m) comprises of two parts; £0.2m (2023: £0.4m) represents the 'B' share capital in Joint Venture veterinary practice companies and £2.5m (2023: nil) relates to capital contributions made to these companies for extensions and improvements to their practice residences. These investments are held at cost less impairment. In relation to the share, the fair values of investments in unlisted equity securities are considered to be their carrying value which is the cost to the Group on recognition, as the impact of discounting future cash flows has been assessed as not material and the investment is non-participatory. The share capital of the veterinary practice companies is split equally into 'A' ordinary shares (held by Joint Venture Partners) and 'B' ordinary shares (held by the Group). Any operational decisions require the agreement of the Joint Venture Partner. Under the terms of the agreements, the Group ('B' shareholder) is not entitled to any profits, losses or dividends, or any surplus on winding up or disposal, although it is entitled to appoint Directors to the Board and carry the same shareholder voting rights as 'A' ordinary shareholders. The agreements entitle the Group to receive income in relation to support services offered in such areas as clinical development, promotion and methods of operation as well as service activities including accountancy, legal and property.

 

Loans to Joint Venture veterinary practices - initial set up loans

Loans to Joint Venture veterinary practices of £5.2m (2023: £6.6m) are provided to Joint Venture veterinary practice companies trading under the Companion Care, Vets4Pets or VetsforPets brands, in which the Group's share interest is non-participatory. These loans support their initial set up and working capital, and are held at amortised cost under IFRS9. Loans are initially recorded at fair value and subsequently measured at amortised as the impact of discounting future cash flows at a market rate of interest has been assessed as not material. Under the terms of the loans provided to veterinary companies trading under the Companion Care, Vets4Pets or VetsforPets brands the loans attract varying interest rates between 2% and 3%. There is no set date for repayment of the loans due to the Group.

 

The balances are shown net of an expected credit loss ('ECL') of £0.6m (2023: £1.0m).

 

 


Gross loan value £m

Expected

credit

loss

 £m

Carrying

value of

loan

£m

As at 30 March 2023

7.6

(1.0)

6.6    

Net repayment and further advances

(1.8)

-

(1.8)

Provisions released during the period

-

0.4

0.4

As at 28 March 2024

5.8

(0.6)

5.2

 

Analysis of expected credit loss by risk category

The following table presents an analysis of the credit risk and credit impairment of initial set up loans held at amortised cost. The loans are categorised as performing, significant increase in credit risk or in default in accordance with the policy set out in note 1.16. The loss allowance is calculated depending on the credit risk of each loan, the Group's expectations of future cash flow recoverability and practice age in accordance with the policy set out in note 1.16.

 

Credit risk

At 28 March

2024

 £m

At 30 March

 2023

£m

Performing

5.2

6.6

Significant increase in credit risk

0.6

1.0

Gross carrying amount

5.8

7.6

Loss allowance

(0.6)

(1.0)

Net carrying amount

5.2

6.6

 

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) continued

16  Other financial assets and liabilities (continued)

 

Loans to Joint Venture veterinary practices - other loans

Loans to Joint Venture veterinary practices - other loans of £0.5m (2023: £1.2m) represent loan balances to Joint Venture veterinary practices. These loans are unsecured, typically for five to seven years and attract an interest rate of SONIA plus 2.8%. The loans are accounted for at amortised cost under IFRS9. The carrying value is considered to be the fair value on the day the loans were granted as the impact of discounting future cash flows at a market rate of interest has been assessed as not material. The loans are typically to support capacity expansion. The balances have been assessed under the criteria in note 1.16 as fully performing. Any expected credit losses are immaterial (2023: £nil).


Gross loan value £m

Expected credit loss

 £m

Carrying value of loan

 £m

As at 30 March 2023

1.2

-

1.2

Net repayment and further advances

(0.7)

-

(0.7)

Provisions made during the period

-

-

-

As at 28 March 2024

0.5

-

0.5

 

Other investments

Other investments are held at fair value through other comprehensive income ('FVOCI'). The fair values of investments in unlisted equity securities are considered to be their carrying value as the impact of discounting future cash flows has been assessed as not material and the investment is non-participatory.

 

 

Other financial assets

Group

Company

At 28 March 2024 £m

At 30 March 2023 £m

At 28 March 2024 £m

At 30 March 2023 £m

Current assets





Fuel forward contracts

0.1

-

-

-

Interest rate swaps

-

2.0

-

2.0

Forward exchange contracts

0.2

-

-

-

Other receivables

-

0.2

-

-


0.3

2.2

-

2.0

Other financial liabilities

Group

Company

At 28 March 2024

 £m

At 30 March

2023

£m

At 28 March 2024

 £m

At 30 March 2023

 £m

Current liabilities

 




Fuel forward contracts

-

(0.3)

-

-

Forward exchange contracts

(1.0)

(3.4)

-

-


(1.0)

(3.7)

-

-

 


Group

Company

At 28 March 2024

 £m

At 30 March

2023

£m

At 28 March 2024

 £m

At 30 March

2023

£m

Non-current liabilities

 




Interest rate swaps

-

(0.4)

-

(0.4)


-

(0.4)

-

(0.4)

 

Notes (forming part of the financial statements) continued

17  Trade and other receivables

 


Group

Company

At 28 March 2024 £m

At 30 March 2023 £m

At 28 March 2024 £m

At 30 March 2023 £m

Current assets

 

 

 

 

Trade receivables

13.9

13.5

-

-

Amounts owed by JV practices - funding for new practices

0.4

-

-

-

Amounts owed by Joint Venture veterinary practices - operating loans

5.8

10.4

-

-

Amounts owed by Joint Venture veterinary practices - trading balances

10.9

11.5

-

-

Other receivables

6.3

5.7

-

-

Prepayments

9.3

3.4

-

-

Accrued income

14.3

7.3

-

-

Non-current assets

 



 

Amounts owed by Group undertakings

-

-

663.3

578.4


60.9

51.8

663.3

578.4

 

Trade and other receivables

The carrying amount of trade and other receivables approximates to the fair value. Supplier income is included with trade and other receivables, this has been invoiced where there is no legal right to offset. The impairment of trade and other receivables is assessed in line with IFRS9. As at 28 March 2024 and 30 March 2023 the impact of expected credit loss on these balances was deemed to be immaterial and as such no provision has been made.

 

The Group apply the simplified approach under IFRS9 and default to lifetime expected credit loss. The ECL is immaterial on the trade receivables balance for the 52 week period ended 28 March 2024 (52 week period ended 30 March 2023: £nil).

 

Amounts owed by Joint Venture veterinary practices

Amounts owed by Joint Venture veterinary practices represent trading balances and operating loans owed by Joint Venture veterinary practices to the Group.

The impairment of amounts owed by Joint Venture veterinary practices relating to trading balances are assessed in line with IFRS 9. As at 28 March 2024 and 30 March 2023, the impact of expected credit loss on these balances was deemed to be immaterial due to the short term nature of these balances and as such no provision has been made.

Operating loans are provided on a short-term monthly cycle to the extent that a practice requires additional funding above their external bank loan. Practices generate cash on a monthly basis which is applied to the repayment of brought forward operating loans. For immature practices, loan balances may increase due to operating requirements. Based on a projected cash flow forecast on a practice by practice basis, the funding is expected to be required for a number of years, however as cash is applied against opening loan balances, the Group's expectation is that the brought forward balance will be repaid in cash within 12 months. The loans have been classified as current on this basis and the Group has chosen not to charge interest on these balances, and they are initially recognised under IFRS9 at their nominal value as the effect of discounting the expected cash flows based on the effective interest rate at the market rate of interest is not material. The loans advanced to the practices are interest free and either repayable on demand or repayable within 90 days of demand. No facility exists and the levels of loans are monitored in relation to review of the practices' performance against business plan and a number of financial and non-financial KPIs in accordance with the policy set out in note 1.16.

For those practices in default, a credit impairment charge is recognised under IFRS9 taking into account the Group's expectations of future cash flow recoverability. For other practices, a credit impairment charge is recognised under IFRS9, taking into account both the probability of loss and the loss proportion given default.

The balances above are shown net of allowances for expected credit losses held for operating loans of £3.0m (2023: £3.4m). The basis for this allowance and the movement in the period is set out below.

Group


Gross loan value

£m

Expected

credit loss

 £m

Carrying value of loan

 £m

As at 30 March 2023

13.8

(3.4)

10.4

Loans written off

(1.6)

-

(1.6)

Net repayment and further advances

(3.4)

-

(3.4)

Utilisation of provision

-

1.1

1.1

Provisions made during the period

-

(0.7)

(0.7)

As at 28 March 2024