Fife-based Veterinary Group’s Huge Rise in Profit

Friday 16 September 2016

The expanding Fife veterinary group Albavet reported a near 80% rise in pre-tax profit. The company, with practices in Dunfermline, Dalgety Bay, Kirkcaldy and Burntisland, reported a turnover up 21% at £7.86 million in the 13 months to December 2015.

With costs of sales down by more than £1m, profit before tax was up 79% at £791,111. The accounts follow the year in which Albavet bought the instrumentation business Vetisco and the online pet and equestrian business Equipet. Days after the end of the last accounting period, it was confirmed that Albavet had been bought by the CVS group, the major UK veterinary company, for £11.3m.

It owns over 360 veterinary surgeries throughout England, Scotland and Wales. Albavet chief executive Simon Innes said the group’s performance in the period from November 1, 2014 to December 3, 2015 had been successful. The gross profit margin of 75% for the veterinary practice side of the business was down very slightly on the previous year, however. He said the group faced a number of risks and uncertainties that may impact on its future performance. These included UK economic conditions and interest rate fluctuations.

Other factors were compliance with laws and regulations, as any violations could lead to reputational damage, license revocations and potentially costly compliance procedures. Management of stock was a further issue, as the subsidiary carried high levels of stock which need to be turned around to avoid obsolescence. Albavet, which also has a branch in Dennistoun, Glasgow, had a total workforce of 151 during the period.
The growth of the group is illustrated by the payroll costs rising by  19% to £3.3m.

The group re-launched its collection of veterinary surgeries in November 2014 after the Vetisco and Equipet takeovers, encompassing Albavet in Glasgow, Ryan & Calder in Dunfermline and Dalgety Bay and Equipet in Kirkcaldy and Burntisland. The group was owned by husband and wife vets Ruth and Wayne Gray but they resigned as directors in December 2015. It is now headed by CVS north regional director Graham Dodds who is also a veterinary surgeon. The UK’s veterinary services industry is growing, with pet insurance playing a part a part in sector’s development. Annual revenue for the UK industry has been estimated at £3 billion.