Friday 22 February 2019

Irish television star Supervet to expand his operations with recruitment drive

Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick (C4/PA)
Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick (C4/PA)

John Reynolds

The Irish 'Supervet' of Channel 4 TV fame, Laois native Noel Fitzpatrick, has increased his staff and is adding a €3.2m extension to his veterinary surgery near London, which employs a number of staff from this country.

Recently filed accounts for the year to the end of March last stated that the business had increased its workforce from 148 to 175. It is continuing to grow, and is currently recruiting veterinary nurses and a number of other staff.

In addition to €600,000 of capital commitments for development works, the accounts added that a loan facility of €2.6m had been agreed for a project to build additional veterinary facilities at the Surrey surgery in the London commuter belt.

A spokeswoman for the business declined to comment on the accounts or confirm whether the work had since been completed.

Turnover for the business was €12.56m (£10.93m), down slightly from €12.69m (£11.04m) the previous year. The accounts also show a parent company to a group of Fitzpatrick's companies booked a profit for the 12 months that had halved, from £968,117 to £453,165. He also increased the salary he paid himself, from £30,000 to £190,000.

The business, which is owned by Fitzpatrick, has invested more than €8m (£7m) in surgery buildings and equipment over the years, the accounts state. One company in the group also has retained earnings of €9.65m (£8.4m).

As well as his main surgery, the business also incorporates the Fitzpatrick Referrals Oncology and Soft Tissue Centre in a multi-million pound new building in a science and technology research park on the University of Surrey campus. The animal cancer hospital is the first of its kind in Europe.

According to media reports last December, the vet, from Ballyfin, was called on by Meghan Markle, bride-to-be of Britain's Prince Harry, to see if he could use his pioneering bionic surgery techniques after one of her dogs had an accident and broke two of its legs.

Fitzpatrick is an avid fan of U2 and Irish literature, and played bit parts in a number of TV soaps before becoming an entrepreneurial vet. He counts a number of celebrities among his clients.

Later this year, he will embark on his first live stage tour in Britain and Ireland, talking about growing up in Laois and how he went from being bullied in school to becoming a world-renowned 'Supervet'.

Audiences will also be transported into a virtual operating theatre to illustrate some of his techniques and witness some of his bionic inventions.

Sunday Indo Business

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