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Markets News

UPDATE 1-Pets At Home upbeat on profit despite risk of another lockdown

(Adds details on trading, analyst comment)

Sept 24 (Reuters) - Pets At Home said on Thursday it expects annual earnings to beat market consensus despite the risk of a second coronavirus lockdown in Britain, as sales improved after the initial restrictions were eased.

The company’s shares were 10% higher at 334.8 pence by 0715 GMT, after the pet supplies retailer said shopping habits were returning to normal levels as strict lockdowns that started in March were eased.

“Today’s update supports our view that PETS looks set to be an overall COVID beneficiary, delivering one of the strongest recoveries we have seen since the initial disruption,” Liberum said in a note.

The British company, which has 453 retail stores, said its retail and veterinary operations delivered double-digit like-for-like growth in customer sales in the eight weeks to Sept. 10.

Still, trading could be affected by a potential second lockdown in the UK, Pets At Home said. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out new curbs earlier this week as the country tackles surging COVID-19 cases.

Reporting by Aniruddha Ghosh and Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath

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