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CVS Group plc – Interim report for the six months ended 31 December 2021

24th March 2022

CVS, the AIM-quoted veterinary group and one of the UK’s leading providers of integrated veterinary services, is pleased to announce its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 31 December 2021 (“H1 2022”) and provide an update on year-to-date trading. Comparative data is provided for the six months ended 31 December 2020 (“H1 2021”), unless otherwise stated.

Financial highlights

£m except where stated

H1 2022

H1 2021

Change %6

FY 2021

Revenue 273.7 245.6 11.4% 510.1
Group like-for-like (“LFL”) sales growth1 (%) 9.6% 7.8% +1.8 ppts 17.4%
Adjusted EBITDA2 52.0 45.1 15.5% 97.5
Adjusted EBITDA2 margin (%) 19.0% 18.4% +0.6 ppts 19.1%
Adjusted profit before income tax3 36.2 29.7 21.9% 66.2
Adjusted earnings per share4 (p) 41.5 33.3 24.6% 75.1
Operating profit 26.3 18.4 42.9% 40.1
Profit before tax 22.9 14.8 54.7% 33.1
Basic earnings per share (p) 24.7 16.0 54.4% 27.3
Net bank borrowings5 63.2 44.4 42.3% 51.3


  1. Like-for-like sales are defined as revenue generated from like-for-like operations compared to the prior year, adjusted for the number of working days. For example, for a practice acquired in September 2020, revenue is included in the like-for-like calculations from September 2021.
  2. Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) is profit before income tax, net finance expense, depreciation, amortisation, costs relating to business combinations, and exceptional items. Adjusted EBITDA is used as a financial metric that removes the cost of debt, costs relating to depreciation and amortisation and one-off costs to achieve a normalised earnings figure that is not distorted by irregular items or structural investment. Alternative performance measures (“APM”) are defined in note 2 to the financial statements.
  3. Adjusted profit before income tax is calculated as profit before amortisation, taxation, costs relating to business combinations, and exceptional items. APM are defined in note 2 to the financial statements.
  4. Adjusted earnings per share is calculated as adjusted profit before income tax less applicable taxation divided by the weighted average number of Ordinary shares in the year. APM are defined in note 2 to the financial statements.
  5. Net bank borrowings is drawn bank debt less cash at bank.
  6. Percentage increases and decreases are calculated based on the underlying values throughout this document.
  7. CVS acquired Quality Pet Care Ltd, a small group of eight first-opinion practices in the UK trading as ‘The Vet’, in August 2021 for consideration of £20.4m. The financial statements of Quality Pet Care Ltd, filed at Companies House for its financial year ended 31 March 2021, show that these eight practices generated combined revenue of £11.3m for that financial year. Quality Pet Care Ltd is treated as an investment as described in note 11, and is not included in the consolidated figures throughout this document.

Operational Highlights

  • Organic growth continues:
    • 6% increase in like-for-like sales
    • 3% increase in underlying like-for-like sales (this underlying measure excludes the prior year impact of one-off COVID-19 testing in our laboratories and Healthy Pet Club revenue deferred from FY20 to FY21).
    • Membership of our affordable preventative healthcare scheme, Healthy Pet Club (“HPC”), has increased to 461,000, up 2.7% since the 2021 financial year-end (+7.6% vs. 31 December 2020).
  • Continued focus on high quality clinical care supported by investment in our facilities:
    • Our focus on quality clinical care in our first-opinion practices continues to be supported by our diagnostic laboratories, our specialist-led multi-disciplinary referral hospitals, our out-of-hours centres and our crematoria.
    • We have continued to invest in our facilities and equipment to support growth, with 19 practice refurbishments and relocations completed in H1 2022 and capital investment of £10.6m.
  • Increase in clinical resource with 9% more vets employed on average in calendar year 2021 vs 2020, as we continue to create new roles to support growth:
    • 116 new permanent veterinary surgeon roles created during H1 2022.
    • Vet vacancy rate remains stable averaging at 10.3% for H1 2022.
    • Employee net promotor score increased to 3.7 (H1 2021: 1.3), reflecting improved colleague satisfaction in light of our focus on, and investment in, our highly skilled and dedicated team.

Current Trading & Outlook

  • Like-for-like sales1growth for the Group in the first eight months of 10.0% and 11.4% on an underlying basis (28 February 2021: 8.2%), total sales growth of 11.5% (28 February 2021: 8.7%).
  • Adjusted EBITDA margin improved to 18.6% (28 February 2021: 18.1%).
  • Stable vet vacancy rate, averaging 10.3% for the first eight months (28 February 2021: 7.5%).
  • Healthy Pet Club membership increased to 466,000 members.
  • Well positioned for future growth, with increased investment in facilities, equipment and a pipeline of further acquisition opportunities.
  • We remain on course to deliver full year results in line with management expectations.

Richard Fairman, Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“I am pleased to report on another strong set of results which reflect the commitment, dedication and professionalism of our colleagues. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their outstanding contribution.

We continue to focus on providing high quality care to our clients and their animals, through our evidence-based clinical approach. Our integrated model ensures that we can provide end-to-end, joined-up and continuous care.

Demand for our services continues to increase as consumers seek the best possible care for their animals. Our ongoing strategy of investment in our people, in our practice and other facilities, and in our clinical equipment is generating beneficial returns through organic growth. We will continue to augment this organic growth through acquisitions.

The positive trading momentum in H1 2022 has continued into the first two months of our second half, and with a strongly cash generative model we remain well placed to continue to invest and acquire to deliver future growth.”