Diss-based veterinary group CVS expands into the Netherlands

CVS in Diss. Chief Executive is SImon Innes.

CVS in Diss. Chief Executive is SImon Innes. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

A veterinary group is aiming to continue its rapid expansion through acquisition as it attempts to build a Dutch section of its business.

EDP/EADT Top 100 business CVS Group, which held its annual general meeting (AGM) yesterday, has bought 18 surgeries since July 1 taking its total to 378.

The group has reported like-for-like sales for the four months to October 31 have grown by 6.3% compared to the same period last year with the profit margin also improving.

Chief executive Simon Innes said he saw the acquisitions as expanding the group's borders rather than making waves on the continent.

He said: 'I think we have extended our territory east and west.

'We bought our first Northern Ireland practice not so long ago, we have plans to buy more in Northern Ireland and are also hoping to buy in southern Ireland.

'It is not a case of stepping into Europe as much as widening our territory.'

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He added the like-for-like sales growth had been driven by its Healthy Pet Club which boosted sales and customer retention.

Chairman Richard Connell told the AGM it was intended that the Netherlands business could be expanded in a similar manner to the UK, adding: 'The pipeline of acquisitions remains strong.'

The group, which won the Top 100 Accelerator category at the EDP Business Awards, is head- quartered at Diss and has practices across the country including at Aylsham, Acle, Great Yarmouth, Dereham, Attleborough, Thetford and Watton.

As well as veterinary practices CVS has laboratories carrying out diagnostic checks, pet pharmacies, crematoria and a vet buying group.

The group had turnover of £218.1m in the year to June 30 with a profit of £24.9m. More than 4,100 people are employed across the group including more than 100 in Diss.

Are you planning an acquisition? Email doug.faulkner@archant.co.uk

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