City round up: Praetura VCT debut; Convatec outlook; Pets at Home director to step down

Praetura at the London Stock Exchange

Directors from Praetura were at the London Stock Exchange this week to participate in the market closing following the first allotment of shares in Praetura Growth VCT. 

Sam McArthur, Partner at Praetura Investments, said: “After 13 years of successful investing in EIS-qualifying companies, the launch of Praetura Growth VCT was largely driven by demand from financial advisers looking for another way to access alternative investments with Praetura.

“A new VCT is extremely rare, with very few launched over the last decade. The launch underlines the strength of our differentiated proposition with a focus of investing in scale-up companies in the North of England where there is a significant opportunity for investors.”

David Foreman, managing partner and founder of Praetura Ventures said on LinkedIn: “This was a pretty cool moment… thanks to all the advisors and the team internally that worked so hard to bring this to life. And thanks also to the investors who entrusted us with their capital.”


ConvaTec wound care

Convatec Group, the Deeside-based medical products business, said in a market update this morning that revenue increased by 5.2% on a reported basis, 5.4% on a constant currency basis and 6.5% on an organic basis.

In March the listed business reported that it had more than doubled its profits in the year to December 31, 2023 from $81.9m to $167.4m on revenues of $2.142bn, which were up from $2.072bn the previous year.

However, the update also said that while Europe and Global Emerging Markets growth was good, there was “continuing impact of the Chinese market-wide anti-bribery and corruption campaign”. 

Longer term, the statement said it was aiming to be operating on high profit margins by 2026. 

“The breadth of Convatec’s portfolio and strong underlying demand in its chronic care segments, coupled with its innovative new product pipeline, gives management confidence in the medium-term prospects for the Group. Convatec continues to expect to deliver 5-7% organic revenue growth annually, to expand the adjusted operating margin to mid-20s by 2026 or 2027 and to deliver double digit compound annual growth in adjusted EPS and free cash flow to equity going forward.”


Professor Susan Dawson is to step down as a non executive director at Pets at Home Group Plc, the Cheshire-based pet care and retail business.

She is also chair of the ESG Committee, and said she has decided to step down from the Board at the Company’s Annual General Meeting which will be held on 11 July 2024. She has been on the Board of Pets at Home since 2018.

Professor Dawson is Dean of the Institute of Veterinary Science at the University of Liverpool. She qualified as a veterinary surgeon from Glasgow in 1983 and spent several years in veterinary practice before joining the University of Liverpool in 1988.

The company said in a statement to the market this morning: “The Directors, on behalf of the Company, wish to thank Susan for her dedicated service. 

“The Company is progressing its search for an additional non-executive director and a further update will be provided in due course.”


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