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Updated: May 7, 2021

Covetrus reports gain in sales for Q1, smaller loss over 2020

building under construction PHOTO / WILLIAM HALL Portland animal-health company Covetrus reported mixed results for the first quarter of 2021. Seen here is the company's future headquarters at Fore and Mountfort streets in Portland's East End.

Portland-based Covetrus Inc. (Nasdaq: CVET) on Thursday reported an increase in net sales during this year's first quarter of $1.1 billion, an increase of 3% compared to the first quarter of 2020.

But the company reported a net loss for Q1 this year of $16 million, or 11 cents per diluted share, which compared to a net loss in Q1 2020 of $33 million, or 30 cents. 

“The team delivered a strong start to 2021 and added strength to our foundation with healthy and profitable growth across each of the company’s segments,” Ben Wolin, president and CEO of the animal-health technology and services company, said in a news release.

“We are driving momentum within the key areas of the business and investing in our team and new capabilities to further accelerate our strategic growth agenda.”

ben wolin
Courtesy / Covetrus
Ben Wolin

Wolin said positive trends included a healthy companion animal end-market, strong sales execution and strength in prescription management.

However, the trends were partially offset by inventory stocking by some of the company's international customers during the onset of COVID-19.

The primary driver of the year-over-year improvement was an increase in gross profit from higher net sales, lower selling, general and administrative expenses and a decrease in interest expense as a result of the reduction in total debt outstanding as compared to the prior year.

North America

North America segment net sales for Q1 of $635 million increased 15% compared to the same period of the prior year, driven by healthy companion animal end-market demand, distribution market share improvement and strong performance at equine provider SmartPak. Prescription management net sales increased 33% year-over-year as the business continues to see strong practice engagement and pet owner demand.


Europe net sales for Q1of $361 million decreased 14% compared to the same period of the prior year, reflecting the headwinds in the U.K. and in Germany and the difficult comparisons from the prior year period from COVID-19 inventory stocking, which more than offset strength in the company's businesses operating in the Netherlands, Ireland and Belgium as well as strong performance in the company's proprietary brands, Kruuse and Vi.

Asia-Pacific and emerging markets

Asia-Pacific and emerging markets net sales for Q1of $112 million increased by 18% compared to the same period of the prior year, reflecting healthy companion animal end-market demand and strong sales execution, particularly in Brazil and Australia.

“Covetrus is well-positioned to uniquely service the animal health industry and our commitment to driving better care and outcomes for our veterinary practice customers and their clients will continue to benefit all of our stakeholders,” Wolin said.

Covetrus has more than 5,500 employees serving over 100,000 customers around the world.

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