Pet drugs group produces perfect Remedy

Shares in pet drugs supplier ​Animalcare​ jumped nearly 10 per cent following strong annual results, boosted by encouraging sales of new products.

Animalcares innovative drugs help to protect the health of the nations cats and dogs plus many other family pets.

The York-based fi​rm said ​pre-tax profits jumped 13 per cent to £3.0m in the year to June 30.

The group has made a name for itself by bringing out innovative drugs that boost the health and happiness of the nation’s dogs, cats and other family pets.

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Animalcare has high hopes for its new Pet Remedy range of over the counter products, which contain valerian to calm down pets. Animalcare said it can be used across all species and has proved very effective in domestic and veterinary settings.

Chief executive Iain Menneer said: “It’s a very effective, calming product that works across species. If an animal is anxious or has existing behavioural problems, it calms them down. Valerian is a natural product that can be sprayed into the air. It’s proving very effective in vet waiting rooms.”

Other new products include Synthadon, a methadone-based pain relief and pre-medication for cats and dogs undergoing a general anaesthetic, and anaestamine - a ketamine-based sedation drug, also used in general anaesthetics for cats, dogs, cattle, goats, guinea pigs, hamsters, horses, mice, pigs, rabbits, rats and sheep.

The group has also launched ​Clavubactin​, a general antibiotic for cats and dogs,​ and Fungiconazole​, which treats fungal skin conditions​.

​Mr Menneer said that although the four drugs are in the first few months of​ ​their launch phase, sales are progressing well.​

​The l​atest industry figures show that dog numbers in the UK have declined by 4.7​ per cent​ to 8.5m and cat​ numbers have fallen ​by 6.8​ per cent​ to 7.4m. ​T​his trend appear​s​ to ​be the same across other pet species​.

Mr Menneer​ ​said t​here are no​ ​clear reasons for this at a time when the economy is getting stronger after several years of recession​, but​ national dog and cat charities believe the changes reflect their campaigns promoting responsible pet ownership.

​He added that responsible pet owners will always require pet drugs so the decline has had little impact on Animalcare.​

The Licensed Veterinary Medicines division generated strong sales which rose 8.8 per cent.

​“​Encouragingly, our pharmaceutical products are growing above market rates​, which show a 1.1​ per cent​ increase for companion animal medicines revenues in the 12 months to March 2015​,” said Mr Menneer.

The group said it is in an excellent position to take advantage of investment opportunities and it is keen to buy rivals’ products when they come on the market.

Another area for growth will be Europe as Animalcare’s sales outside the UK have been flat for several years, averaging at eight per cent of turnover.

“It’s a big world out there. We’ve been putting our resources into the product pipeline and Europe has been neglected,” said Mr Menneer.

Martin Gore, formerly of Novartis Animal Health’s leadership team, has been appointed to a new position to focus on European development.

“We are currently in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain and the Benelux countries. Martin has a mandate to look at the whole of Europe,” said Mr Menneer.

ANIMALCARE’S shares rose 21.5p to 241.5p as investors welcomed the encouraging signs for future trading.

The group will pay a total dividend of 6.1p, up 11 per cent on last year, reflecting its confidence.

Analyst Mike Mitchell at Panmure Gordon said: “Animalcare is building a platform for growth and is well-positioned to drive this from 2017 onwards. The company offers defensive positioning with the capability to identify new product opportunities to support new pipeline development and long-term revenue generation.”