The aggregate result of Covid-related costs and restrictions means that

the financial impact of the pandemic, currently estimated at over £35m, willno longer be offset by the rates relief received

Pets at Home has announced its decision to repay in full the £28.9m ofbusiness rates relief received across the business to the government.

The group said its decision reflects the company’s “guiding principle oftreating all stakeholders fairly”, but is also supported by a continuingstrong performance across the business.

It comes as the group said it was “extremely grateful” for the financialsupport provided in March to support the business through the pandemic, whichenabled it to adapt operations and continue operating as an “essential”retailer.

Nonetheless, the aggregate result ofCovid-related costs and restrictions means that the financial impact of thepandemic, currently estimated at over £35m, will no longer be offset by therates relief received.

Peter Pritchard, group CEO, said: “I continue to be immensely proud of thetireless efforts of my colleagues across the business and the work they aredoing to meet the needs of our nation’s pets week after week in the pandemic.

“We were very grateful for the rates relief provided back in March during atime of significant uncertainty, which helped us to take the decision to keepour stores, online operations and veterinary practices open. Recent positivenews around the launch of vaccinations for Covid-19 has led us to reassess thelevel of uncertainty ahead.”

He added: “Pets at Home is a robust business, both operationally andfinancially, with amazing colleagues, great operations, good liquidity and astrong balance sheet. Our decision today demonstrates our clear commitment toacting responsibly and treating all of our stakeholders fairly.”

Source: UK Pet Gazette

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