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Norfolk Business Awards 2018

Diss-based veterinary group CVS sees profits rise by 58% amid scores of new surgery acquisitions

CVS veterinary practice group chief executive Simon Innes.

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

CVS veterinary practice group chief executive Simon Innes. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

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A veterinary practice group headquartered in Diss has recorded an “outstanding performance” after profits rose by more than 50%.

CVS saw turnover grow by 24.6% to £271.8m in the year to June 30, 2017, with pre-tax profits rising by 58.4% to £14.5m.

Like-for-like sales growth was up 6.3% across the group, with particularly strong performances in its pharmaceutical arm Animed Direct and vets practices division.

The group acquired 62 surgeries in 2017, building on the 67 acquired the previous year. These include its first acquisition in the Netherlands.

Since the year end it has taken on a further 10 surgeries.

It has also expanded its UK equine business with the acquisition of Bell Equine during the year, and B&W Equine in the subsequent months.

In a statement released with the preliminary results, CVS chairman Richard Connell said: “I am delighted to report a further outstanding performance by CVS with another record year for revenue and operating profits across the group.

“Strong like-for-like growth of 6.3% was enhanced by further acquisitions in our veterinary practice division. We increased our investment in equipment, premises, our services and our staff.”

Mr Connell said that while the group, which employs around 5,100 people, had “limited” exposure to the impacts of Brexit there were concerns over the future employment of European vets.

“We have not seen any significant impact on employment so far but, together with other major employers in the industry and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, we are lobbying the government to ensure that there are no adverse impacts,” he said.

Revenue in CVS’s laboratory division grew by 10.2% to £16.3m, while the acquisition of three new pet crematoria in 2016 saw revenue in its crematoria division grow by 27.1% to £6.3m.

In August the group launched its own pet insurance brand, MiPet Cover, the only pet insurance in the UK designed by vets, but said it was too early to “fully assess the response from customers”.

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