Jiminy cricket: Recession fuels surge in unusual but ‘lower maintenance’ pets

8th July 2011

It appears that UK pet owners are ditching cats and dogs in favour of reptiles.

The Guardian reports that the Pets at Home chain has seen annual like-for-like sales of reptiles and related products, such as the live crickets they eat soar by 250%.

The number of reptiles kept as pets in the UK has risen to about 9 million, compared to around 7 million dogs.

Pets at Home has 287 stories and its sales, grew by just 1.8% in the 53 weeks to 31 March, as operating profit before exceptional items and goodwill amortisation rose by 8.7% to £79m.

Matthew Davies, the chief executive, said: "Despite the extremely challenging economic climate, we continued to maintain our track record of growth throughout 2010, increasing turnover, profits and opening new stores."

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