Europe pet retailers look to growth in 2014

Pets at Home Group has announced its intention to go public and Fressnapf Group is looking to expand as the European pet retailers turn to growth in 2014.

Pets at Home Group has announced its intention to go public and Fressnapf Group is looking to expand as the European pet retailers turn to growth in 2014.

Pets at Home

The initial public offering of Pets at Home is expected to value the pet store and veterinary surgery chain at £1.5 billion (US$2.51 billion). The company was bought in 2010 by US private equity group KKR, and aims to reduce its debts and aid expansion plans with the move.

"This is a very exciting time for Pets at Home as we look to drive our expansion program in the UK to over 500 stores, more than 700 veterinary practices and in excess of 300 groom rooms in the medium term," said Pets at Home CEO Nick Wood. The company's like-for-like revenues grew by 2.4% and underlying earnings grew 11.1% to £87 million (US$145.3 million) in the 40-week period to Jan. 2, 2014. This number is expected to reach £110 million (US$183.7 million) by the end of the year in March.

Fressnapf Group

Fressnapf Group ended 2013 with a 6.7% increase in turnover, according to the company. Its gross turnover was €1.6 billion (US$2.2 billion) and it beat the €1 billion (€1.012 billion; US$1.4 billion) mark in Germany for the first time. The increase in gross turnover via the online channel was up 76% compared to 2012, at €47.8 million (US$64.9 million).

The Fressnapf Group increased by 3.4% in existing stores compared with 2012 numbers, according to the company, and international stores in particular saw positive growth. "We are pleased that our stores in Denmark, France and Italy showed particularly outstanding growth in 2013," said Torsten Töller, founder and proprietor of Fressnapf | Maxi Zoo. "Poland is another success story. We opened in Poland a little over a year ago, and since then the three Maxi Zoo branches have done so well that we plan a total of six new stores for 2014. We endeavor to achieve profitable growth in all Fressnapf Group countries and to establish and/or expand our market leadership."

The Fressnapf Group plans for a total of about sixty new stores in 2014, approximately 20 of which will open in Germany.

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