Pets at Home to take £35m hit after rate relief repayment
Pets at Home said it would take a full £35m hit from Covid-19 after deciding to repay £28.9m in government business rates relief received during the pandemic.
The company joins a growing list of firms repaying the cash after reporting profit gains during lockdown. Pets at Home said it had made the decision after reassessing its outlook in light of new vaccine developments and “the continuing strong performance of the business”.
“The aggregate result of covid-specific costs and restrictions means that the financial impact of the pandemic on our business this year, currently estimated at over £35m, will no longer be offset by the rates relief received,” the company said on Friday.
Chief executive Peter Pritchard said recent positive news around the launch of vaccinations for Covid-19 “has led us to reassess the level of uncertainty ahead”.
Major UK supermarkets Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrison this week pledged to return £1.7bn in rates relief after growing criticism of bumper profits and dividend payouts while receiving taxpayer support.