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Generic drug introductions impact Walgreens' July sales

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Friday reported July sales of $5.6 billion, a decrease of 3.7% as compared with the same month in fiscal 2011. Compared with prior months during this calendar year, July sales comparisons were more significantly impacted by an increase in generic drug introductions, Walgreens reported.

July pharmacy sales decreased 5%, while comparable-store pharmacy sales decreased 9.7%. Calendar day shifts positively impacted pharmacy sales in comparable stores by 2.2 percentage points.

Comparable-store pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 7.1 percentage points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months, by 0.2 percentage point due to the product mix of cough, cold and flu drugs and by 10.8 percentage points due to no longer being part of the Express Scripts network. Prescriptions processed by Express Scripts comprised 12.7% of Walgreens prescriptions in July 2011.

As previously announced, Walgreens again will be a part of the Express Scripts network beginning in September.

Pharmacy sales accounted for 63.7% of total sales for the month.

Total front-end sales decreased 0.8%, compared with the same month in 2011, while comparable-store front-end sales decreased 2.4%. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 3.8%, while basket size increased 1.4%.

Sales in comparable stores decreased by 7%. The effect of generic drug introductions in the last 12 months negatively impacted total comparable sales by 4.5 percentage points, while calendar day shifts positively impacted total comparable sales by 1.4 percentage points.

Walgreens opened 16 stores during July, including three relocations, and closed one.

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