Shares in Greencross have jumped after the vet care and pet services group showed a halving of statutory profit but an improved comparable sales performance.
Greencross’s net profit for the year to July 1 was down 50.9 per cent to $20.66 million as a result of a previously flagged $22.8 million in impairments.
Revenue was up 7.5 per cent to $878.7 million, with the company showing 4.9 per cent like-for-like sales growth for the year.
Greencross managing director Simon Hickey said 2017/18 had been “a year of substantial change”.
“Our Australian retail business reported a strong top line result driven by like-for-like sales growth of 5.1 per cent, underpinned by 3.1 per cent like-for-like transaction growth,” Mr Hickey said in a statement.
Greencross has been expanding its integrated model of having veterinary clinics in its retail pet stores.
The company said it now has 54 “integrated sites”, equal to almost a quarter of its store network, but those integrated stores have shown 8.5 per cent like-for-like sales growth compared with just 3.8 per cent for standalone sites.
Greencross has flagged changes at its standalone vet clinics business after calling their full-year performance – a 2.2 per cent slide in comparable sales – “disappointing”.
The company – the largest veterinary business in Australia and New Zealand – will look at initiatives including extended hours, mobile vets and telemedicine.
Retail operations boosted revenue five per cent as customers spent more frequently and with bigger purchases each time.
Greencross said dog food sales rose nine per cent, while cat food sales increased eight per cent and its gross margin across the retail operations was 47.9 per cent.
The company announced a final dividend down 42 per cent to 5.5 cents, fully franked.
Greencross shares were up 20 cents, or 4.7 per cent, to $4.43 at 1338 AEST.
PETS AND VETS PAYING OFF FOR GREENCROSS:
* 2017/18 net profit down 50.9pct to $20.66m
* Revenue up 7.5pct to $878.7m
* Final dividend 5.5 cents, fully franked, taking full-year dividend to 15.5 cents.