National Vet Care shares got a boost on Monday on the back of promising full year results that showed an increase of more than 50 per cent in revenue and underlying profit.

The company’s shareholders will also see a 3c dividend, to be paid in October.

National Vet Care (ASX:NVL) boss Tomas Steenackers told Stockhead the results came from a strong acquisition strategy that saw the company expand to New Zealand.

“We bought 14 businesses in FY2017 and still have pretty decent organic growth across the group,” he said.

“We made our introduction in the New Zealand market, so now we have 10 clinics in New Zealand that are performing quite well.”

Mr Steenackers said he’d already started on next year’s acquisitions.

“We already bought 7 clinics for FY18. Three have been settled, and the other four will be done by the end of September,” he said.

“So already for next year we look like doing similar to what we’ve done this year.”

The company’s revenue for FY2017 was up 51 per cent, from $44.3 million to $66.9 million. Underlying net profit after tax was up 52.8 per cent, from $3.86 million to $5.91 million.

NVL shares rose about 3 per cent to $2.43 at 1pm AEST.

Looking after staff and pets

Mr Steenackers said the biggest challenge National Vet Care faced in the coming financial year was to support its staff while it expanded.

“We just need to find the right level, not to go too fast and not too slow,” he said.

“We need to be able to support our people better. We need to look after our staff well, so they can service our clients and their pets properly.

“That’s the major difference between us and the normal acquisition play, we’re not just banking on acquisitions but we’re also banking on organic growth — so we think supporting people is really important.

“It’s not just about buying businesses for the sake of buying businesses.”

National Vet Care currently employs 616 staff. Two areas of investment in the coming year will be expanding the company’s support office and ramping up technical and management training.