CVS Group has issued a trading statement this morning which warns that its 2019 earnings are likely to be "materially below market expectations", and that the company has consequently introduced a number of cost-cutting measures.

In its statement, the company blamed the situation on the poor performance of 24 practices it bought in the Netherlands, and its new farm and equine divisions.

CVS says that another important factor has been employment costs, in particular the increase in market rates for locum veterinary surgeons and nurses on which it remains heavily reliant.

The company also blames its financial performance on the poor support of pharmaceutical companies, which it says it is continuing to push for transparent and 'appropriate' pricing.

Aside from trying to drive down the costs of drugs, the company says it has introduced 'additional procedures' designed to reduce the cost of employing locums, although it didn't specify what these are.

The group is also reevaluating its pipeline of acquisitions, in particular the multiples it is prepared to pay.

At the time of writing, the CVS share price had dropped over 28% to 465p overnight and 70% since the share price peaked at 1477p in November 2017.

In the game of acquisitions musical chairs, did the music just stop?

Full trading statement.


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