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Pets at Home to take £35mln hit as it joins business rates repayment train

“Our decision today demonstrates our clear commitment to acting responsibly and treating all of our stakeholders fairly"

Pets at Home Group PLC -
Pet chain wants to treat all stakeholders fairly

Pets at Home Group PLC (LON:PETS) has joined the rush of retailers repaying business rates relief granted during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Tesco (LON:TSCO) set the ball rolling on Wednesday when it announced it would repay £585mln since when fellow grocers Sainsbury’s (£450mln) and Morrisons (£274mln) and Aldi (£100mln) have all said they too will pay back the relief.

Pets at Home is not on that scale having received £28.9mln.

Like the grocers, the pet and vet chain was considered an essential business during the lockdown and stayed open.

In a statement, the FTSE 250 group said it was extremely grateful for the financial support but wanted to be fair to all stakeholders.

As a result, it will take a profit hit of £35mln as it will no longer be able to offset COVID-19-specific costs and restrictions against the relief. 

In a statement, Peter Pritchard, group chief executive, added "We were very grateful for the rates relief provided back in March during a time of significant uncertainty, which helped us to take the decision to keep our stores, online operations and veterinary practices open.

"Recent positive news around the launch of vaccinations for Covid-19 has led us to reassess the level of uncertainty ahead. Our decision today demonstrates our clear commitment to acting responsibly and treating all of our stakeholders fairly."

Quick facts: Pets at Home Group PLC

Price: 394.4 GBX

LSE:PETS
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £1.97 billion
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