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Pets at Home earmarks 30 practices for closure
First half profits fell from £40.8 million to £8 million.

Company’s profits fall by 80 per cent, financial report reveals 

Pets at Home could be set to close 30 of its joint venture practices, amid profit losses of more than 80 per cent.

The firm’s latest interim financial report reveals that first half profits fell from £40.8 million to £8 million, largely owing to charges of £29 million that relate to vet business restructuring.

Pets at Home will offer to buy back and consolidate 55 out of the 471 practices. Of these, 25 will be operated as company managed practices, while the remainder may close.

CEO Peter Pritchard, who has led the company since May, commented: “Reviewing our Vet Group has been a priority. I recognise we have grown at pace and more recently, have seen the pressure that rising costs and our fees are placing on this young business.

“We will need to recalibrate the business to deliver more measured growth, whilst maintaining our plan to generate significant cash profits.

“We are focused on maximising our unique assets and delivering a plan for sustainable cashflow and profit growth. Given the success of the changes we have made in Retail, I'm confident we can do this."

Equity analyst Nicholas Hyett, of Hargreaves Lansdown stockbrokers, told Sky News the move represents a major shake-up “as the vets' partners struggle to make sufficient money to pay Pets' fees and still take home a decent wage themselves”.

He added: "That's partly due to factors outside Pets' control. A decline in the number of EU vets in the UK is putting pressure on salaries and also making it more difficult to find new partners."

Image © P L Chadwick (CC BY-SA 2.0)
 

 

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ZSL London Zoo shares animal X-rays

News Story 1
 A selection of X-ray images showing the inner workings of frogs, turtles, snakes and geckos have been shared by veterinary surgeons at ZSL London Zoo.

Taken as part of a routine health check, the images have been shared as part of ‘Vets in Action’ week - a hand’s on role-playing experience for children that explores the life of a zoo vet.

ZSL London Zoo veterinary nurse Heather Mackintosh said: “It’s great to be able to share the work that goes on behind the scenes at the Zoo to keep our residents in tip-top condition – and our visitors are always amazed to find out more about their favourite animals.” 

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News Shorts
Vets in developing nations given free access to BSAVA’s online library

BSAVA has teamed up with the WSAVA, the WSAVA Foundation and FECAVA to offer vets in developing nations free access to its online library.

The Association’s ‘Foundation Collection’ is comprised of more than 70 hours of articles, lectures and book chapters covering topics such as basic handling skills, working on a budget and emergency triage. Some of the countries set to benefit include Albania, Georgia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania.

Nicolette Hayward, of BSAVA International Affairs Committee said: “Our mission is to promote excellence in small animal practice through education and science, so we are delighted to work with WSAVA, the WSAVA Foundation and FECAVA to share these high-quality resources to the veterinary profession in low and middle-income countries.”