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Canadian pet insurance provider continues growth pattern


May 10, 2004   by Canadian Underwriter


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Oakville, Ontario-based Pethealth Inc. (TSX Venture: PTZ) says revenue for the first quarter ending March 31, 2004 was up 75% over the same period a year ago, at $2.55 million.
The company, which provides pet insurance in Canada and the U.S. underwritten by companies including Kingsway General and ING Novex, did post a net loss for the most recent quarter of $76,000, but this was a substantial improvement over the loss of $472,000 reported a year earlier. The first quarter 2004 loss also includes an almost $40,000 charge for the prospective adoption of fair value accounting for stock-based employee compensation. EBITDA earnings for the first quarter of this year came in at $41,000, compared with a loss of $388,000 a year ago.
New policy sales and gross written premiums were both up for the first quarter of 2004, to 71,230 and $5.7 million respectively, marking more than 50% improvement over first quarter 2003 in both categories. Much of this growth took place in the U.S., accounting for 79% of new policy sales.
While new policy sales added to the company’s strong results, Pethealth was also able to reduce its per-policy acquisition and administration costs. The company plans to further expand its pet micro-chipping program.
The company had total assets of $15.6 million as of March 31, 2004, more than double the total held at the end of March, 2003.
“We are delighted with the milestones reached in our first quarter of 2004” says Mark Warren, president & CEO of Pethealth Inc. “These milestones were achieved through our current distribution network highlighting our ability to leverage the infrastructure and distribution channels now in place.” Recent additions to the company’s distribution network should help boost earnings over the remainder of 2004, he adds.


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