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February 25, 2022

Covetrus posts smaller Q4 loss on flat sales, sees 2022 growth

File Photo / William Hall Covetrus supplies prescription medication and other veterinary care products for patients including Pasta, left, and Apollo, both of Yarmouth.

Covetrus Inc. (Nasdaq: CVET), the Portland-based animal health technology and services company, posted a smaller fourth-quarter loss in 2021 than a year ago, and forecast higher sales growth for 2022.

The company late Thursday reported a before-tax loss of $10 million, or 2 cents per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2021. That was down from a loss of $16 million, or 4 cents per share, for the same period in 2020.

Net sales for the fourth quarter of 2021 were $1.12 billion, unchanged compared to the year-ago quarter.

Covetrus said there was sales growth in the companion animal market across many of the company's geographies and in its prescription management business in North America. Those trends, however, were offset by struggles in the company's U.K. and German businesses.

Net sales for 2021 totaled $4.58 billion, an increase of 5% compared to the 2020 total of $4.34 billion. However, the company's before-tax loss grew from $24 million in 2020, or 22 cents per share, to $54 million for 2021, or 39 cents per share.

Organic net sales growth was 5% year-over-year, the company said.

“2021 marked another year of continued progress for Covetrus where we accelerated our pace of innovation, delivered enhanced value to our veterinary practice customers and channel partners, and secured new business as we continued to drive adoption of our technology platform,” said President and CEO Ben Wolin. 

“We enter 2022 with momentum and visibility alongside an impressive slate of upcoming product launches, including Covetrus Pulse, that we believe will not only drive better outcomes for our customers but also help accelerate our growth, expand our margins, and further solidify our global technology leadership position in the attractive animal health market."

For 2022, Covetrus said it expects organic net sales growth of 7% to 8% and adjusted earnings of $270 million to $280 million.

Shares of Covetrus were trading at $17.69, up 19 cents, early on Friday morning.

Covetrus, which has a market capitalization of $2.4 billion, provides a range of technology and services for over 100,000 veterinary practices around the world, and employs more than 5,700 people.

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