VCA Inc.
Apr 22, 2009

VCA Antech, Inc. Reports First Quarter 2009 Results and Affirms its Financial Guidance for 2009

LOS ANGELES, California, April 22, 2009 - VCA Antech, Inc. (NASDAQ NM SYMBOL: WOOF), a leading animal healthcare company in the United States, today reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2009, as follows:  revenue increased 2.6% to a first quarter record of $315.8 million; net income increased 2.5% to $32.0 million; and diluted earnings per share increased 2.8% to $0.37.

Bob Antin, Chairman and CEO, stated, "I am pleased with our company's performance in the first quarter of 2009.  We have continued our long history of revenue and earnings growth as a result of our continued focus on our core business strategy and by adapting to the numerous challenges presented by the current economic environment.

"Animal hospital revenue in the first quarter increased 5.4% to $238.4 million driven by acquisitions made in the past twelve months.  Our animal hospital gross margin and operating margin remained essentially unchanged at 18.1% and 16.0%, respectively.  Although our day-adjusted same-store revenue declined 2.7% during the quarter, our same-store gross profit margin increased to 18.8% from 18.5%.

"We made nine acquisitions during the quarter with historical combined annual revenue of $20.9 million.

"Laboratory revenue in the first quarter increased 1.0% to $77.5 million. Our laboratory internal revenue growth, adjusted for one fewer business day was 1.7%, representing an improvement as compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. Our laboratory gross profit margin declined to 46.5% compared to 48.7% in the prior year, and our operating margin declined to 39.3% compared to 42.2% in the prior year."

2009 Financial Guidance

We affirm our 2009 financial guidance as follows:

Conference Call

We will discuss our company's first quarter 2009 financial results during a conference call today, April 22, at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time. You can access a live broadcast of the call by visiting our website at You can also access the call via telephone by dialing (877) 604-9675. Interested parties should call at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the call to register.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may and likely will differ materially from the guidance provided in this release. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ are: a material adverse change in our financial condition or operations; the impact of adverse trends in the general economy on the rate of our laboratory internal revenue growth and animal hospital same-store revenue growth; the level of direct costs and our ability to maintain revenue at a level necessary to maintain expected operating margins; the level of selling, general and administrative costs; the effects of our recent acquisitions and our ability to effectively manage our growth and achieve operating synergies; a decline in demand for some of our products and services; any disruption in our information technology systems or transportation networks; the effects of competition; any impairment in the carrying value of our goodwill and other intangible assets; changes in prevailing interest rates; our ability to service our debt; and general economic conditions. These and other risk factors are discussed in our Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008 and the reader is directed to these statements for a further discussion of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements.

We own, operate and manage the largest networks of freestanding veterinary hospitals and veterinary-exclusive clinical laboratories in the country, and we supply diagnostic imaging equipment to the veterinary industry.

Media contact:
Tomas Fuller, Chief Financial Officer
(310) 571-6505