CVS like-for-like sales up

Veterinary services provider CVS Group's like-for-like sales grew by 6.3% in the four months to the end of October compared with the corresponding period last year, shareholders at the annual general meeting today will be told.

Chairman Richard Connell will say: "Gross margins have improved and underlying profitability for the period to 31 October 2016 is ahead of the Board's expectations. "Since the start of the current financial year on 1 July 2016 the Group made a total of eight acquisitions of 18 surgeries bringing the total number of surgeries to 378.

"The acquisition of further practices in the UK has continued the geographic development of the Group across the country and has further developed the large animal and equine as well as the small animal businesses. "Particularly exciting is our first acquisition in The Netherlands. Kliniek voor Gezelschapsdieren Dieren is a high quality, small animal practice based in the east of the Netherlands. It is intended that this acquisition is the start of the development of a business in The Netherlands on a similar basis to the CVS Group in the UK. "The pipeline of acquisitions remains strong."