Prices will rise because of vet shortage, warns CVS Group

CVS Group's head office in Diss. Picture: Sonya Duncan.

CVS Group's head office in Diss. Picture: Sonya Duncan. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2016

The country's biggest vet services group, based in Diss, has warned customers they face higher prices as it struggles to recruit at its growing network of surgeries.

At the company's AGM, CVS Group chairman Richard Connell said challenges in appointing veterinary surgeons had become more acute since the Brexit vote, and that the group had to take action.

'These measures will include increasing some salaries by more than inflation as well as improving flexible working opportunities,' he said.

'It is intended that any increases in salaries will be funded through price increases.'

It came as the group reported total sales rose by 20.6% in four months to October 31, helped by surgery acquisitions, while like-for-like sales grew by 4.3% year-on-year.

Mr Connell said CVS would continue to be acquisitive, and saw opportunities in the UK and Netherlands, but noted 'greater general uncertainty' in the economy.

Since the start of its financial year in July, CVS has acquired 21 new surgeries and now runs 444 in the UK and abroad, at a cost of £20m.

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CVS Group is a member of the EDP/EADT Top100 list of Norfolk and Suffolk's biggest companies and has its head office in Owen Road in Diss.