This is another Covid silver lining. There have been several. Sales at Animalcare, a veterinary pharmaceutical business with aspirations to become the leader in Europe, have surged during the pandemic because of the rapid increase in the number of people adopting companion animals for the first time. You may remember that there was a craze to adopt French bulldogs and Dachshunds at the peak of the pandemic. It was a trend that almost became viral to the point where about 3.2 million extra pets were adopted over 18 months in the UK. Some of the adoptions have, as expected, gone sour as they realise that the responsibilities of companion animal caretaking clash with certain lifestyles.
A natural spin-off to this surge in pet ownership in the UK has been a 13.3% revenue increase at Animalcare to £39.1 million while pre-tax profits reach £6.4 million up from £4.7 million generated the year before. The directors declared a 2p dividend per share and they expect their full-year results to beat their forecasts.
The company’s chief executive, Jenny Winter, 61, said:
“We are confident that profit performance will be ahead of current market expectations for the full year.”
The company is listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM). It has a market capitalisation of £242 million. It has plans to develop and grow and the business has won favour with analysts including at Stifel and Panmure Gordon who recommend that people buy their shares. They believe that the company “continues to warrant a premium against its peers”. That’s jargon meaning that they think the shares are going to go up and if you buy them, you’ll make a profit. The shares rose 17p, 4.2% to 420p.
The company’s mission statement or vision is to “become a leading European veterinary pharmaceutical business to focus on delivering growth both organically and through selective acquisitions”. In other words, they are ambitious and doing well which is why their shares are going up. However, the directors received a distinct boost from the devastating pandemic which for many people led to an impulse to adopt a pet, sometimes for the wrong reasons.
My thanks to The Times for the story.
SOME PAGES ON INSURANCE (ANIMALCARE IS NOT IN THE BUSINESS OF PET INSURANCE BY THE WAY):