Pets at Home may boost stockpiles by £8m in case of hard Brexit

22 January 2019, 08:48 | Updated: 22 January 2019, 11:44

Pets at Home says it is considering spending an extra £8m stockpiling products, including food, in case of a "no-deal" Brexit.

Some 17% of its goods come from outside the UK and chief executive Peter Pritchard has previously pledged to ensure families do not run out of food for their pets.

The retailer and vet business confirmed last year that it had already started building stocks to prepare for possible disruption to imports.

It joins other major UK retailers, including Tesco and M&S;, in filling warehouse and other storage space in the run-up to Brexit day on 29 March.

Businesses are worried the country could leave the EU without any agreement over its future relationship with the union, after MPs rejected the prime minister's deal.

Pets at Home said: "As we approach our financial year end and monitor the Brexit process, we may consider increasing our inventory holding by up to £8m."

The firm also gave an update on its Brexit preparations while outlining trading progress over the 12 weeks to 3 January - its third quarter.

It reported a 6.3% rise in revenues compared with the same period last year and said trading profits were on track to meet full-year expectations, though its bottom line would be hit by a £42m charge linked to the closure of 30 vet practices.

Shares were more than 8% higher in early trading.

Mr Pritchard added: "Momentum in retail accelerated over the festive period, culminating in the biggest trading day of our entire history on the Saturday before Christmas.

"We are working closely across the group to maximise our assets and data as a pet care business, delivering initiatives that are resulting in an even better experience for customers."