"We want to be the B&Q of pet care," says Anthony Preston, founder of the pets superstore Pets At Home. The company, which Preston started in 1991, now sells 3,000 hamsters a month from its 145 UK stores. Preston blew aside the dingy pet shops that had dominated the sector with his well-lit superstores, often sited in out-of-town retail parks and boasting such attractions as "bunny villages" and veterinary practices.

Pets At Home has expanded rapidly during the past decade and in 1999 bought out its larger competitor, Petsmart UK, with £25m from 3i, the venture-capital firm. Profits at the Cheshire company have climbed 61% a year from £1.7m in 1998 to £7.1m in 2001, when it had 1,976 staff.

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Company details
Year2002
Rank23
CompanyPets At Home
ActivityPet products retailer
LocationCheshire
Annual profit growth60.63%
Latest profits £000s7,066
Latest sales £000s178,292
Staff1,976
Founded1991
Websitewww.petsathome.com

If applicable:

* supplied by company † annualised figure