VCA Antech Inc. – 02-05-2008

Animal hospital same-store revenue growth was 5.2 percent and laboratory internal revenue growth was 13.5 percent.

Los Angeles-based VCA Antech Inc. recently reported preliminary financial results of $284 million for its fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 and year to date revenue of $1.16 billion.

In addition to the acquisition of Healthy Pet Corp., which included 42 animal hospitals with annual revenue of about $80 million, VCA Antech acquired 29 individual animal hospitals with annual revenue of more than $57 million.

“We believe that, historically, the animal healthcare industry and our business have been relatively resistant to changes in the general economy, but not immune to them,” said Bob Antin, chairman and chief executive officer. “However, the fourth quarter results appear to indicate that we were marginally impacted by the uncertainty in the economy.

“In addition, the timing of the Christmas and New Year holidays, the California fires, the weather and competition also had an adverse impact on our results. As a result of these factors, during the fourth quarter, and particularly the second half of the quarter, our internal revenue growth slowed. Animal hospital same-store revenue growth for the fourth quarter of 2007 was 2.5 percent and laboratory internal revenue growth was 9.1 percent.”

Year to date, animal hospital same-store revenue growth was 5.2 percent and laboratory internal revenue growth was 13.5 percent.

VCA Antech offers the following financial guidance for 2008: revenue from $1.3 billion to $1.33 billion; laboratory internal revenue growth to range from 8 percent to 10 percent; animal hospital same-store revenue growth to a range from 3 percent to 5 percent; animal hospital acquired revenue from $50 million to $60 million; and net income from $135 million to $139 million.

The company has already acquired 10 domestic animal hospitals in 2008, with an annual revenue of $24.7 million. VCA Antech has also made its first investment in the animal hospital industry outside the United States with a minority investment in Associated Veterinary Clinics located in Calgary, Canada, which operates 21 hospitals. <HOME>

Posted February 5, 2008, 11:55 a.m., EST

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