Monday 5 December 2016

Laois 'Supervet' business booked €11m sales, €1m profit last year

John Reynolds

Published 14/08/2016 | 02:30

Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick, with his foot in plaster after an operation, poses with one of his patients, cocker spaniel Cookie, to whom he gave two bionic feet in an operation
Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick, with his foot in plaster after an operation, poses with one of his patients, cocker spaniel Cookie, to whom he gave two bionic feet in an operation

Laois 'Supervet' Noel Fitzpatrick, of Channel 4 TV fame, booked €11m in sales and a profit of €1.1m in his company's most recently filed accounts for the year to the end of March 2015.

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The main company related to his business, Fitzpatrick Referrals, also had borrowings of €5.1m and €8m in shareholders' funds in the bank at that time. It had 113 employees and had achieved a 43pc increase in sales in the previous year, the accounts state.

In an interview with the Sunday Independent last year, the Ballyfin native confirmed that a number of his employees are also from Ireland and that at that time the number of staff had increased to 137.

Last September, former BBC Top Gear presenter Chris Evans opened a new division of the business, the Fitzpatrick Referrals Oncology and Soft Tissue Centre, in a multi-million pound new building in a science and technology research park on the campus of the University of Surrey, near London.

The specialist animal cancer hospital is the first of its kind in Europe, and Prof Fitzpatrick's aim for the business was that it would employ up to 140 people. Cancer is the biggest killer of cats and dogs after trauma.

"This is going to change the whole level of cancer care for animals in Europe: it's a super-specialist hub, inspired by Thomas Mayo's famous Mayo Clinic in the US. It's beautiful, and it's going to be the best cancer centre in the world for animals.

"I've hand-picked and waited 11 years to hire one of the centre's staff - Nick Bacon. I badgered him until he couldn't say no. He's the best animal cancer specialist in the world today," he said in the interview last year.

Theatre, U2, Irish literature and Aston Martin fan Prof Fitzpatrick describes himself as a workaholic "who lives like a student" and previously had bit parts on British TV in Casualty and Heartbeat.

A spokeswoman for Prof Fitzpatrick declined to comment on the accounts. The latest series of The Supervet began this week on Channel 4.

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