Jean Coutu posts 4.3 percent quarterly increase

LONGUEUIL, Quebec The Jean Coutu Group on Tuesday reported revenue of $541.6 million (in U.S. dollars) for the 13 weeks ending March 1, an increase of 4.3 percent. Net earnings for the period amounted to a loss of $263.9 million

Jean Coutu recorded a loss of $325.1 million as part of its share of Rite Aid’s results. Jean Coutu owns a greater-than 30 percent stake in Rite Aid.

“Pharmacy sales showed robust growth while front-end sales were affected by a milder flu season, which impacted sales of non-prescription drugs,” stated Francois Coutu, president and chief executive officer at Jean Coutu. “Rite Aid made good progress on the integration of its acquired Brooks/Eckerd drug store network and these stores showed improving trends.”

During the third quarter, Jean Coutu’s Canadian franchise network retail sales were up 4.1 percent—pharmacy sales gained 7.3 percent and front-end sales declined 1.2 percent year-over-year in terms of comparable stores. “drop in hba”, Coutu said.

“Sales of non-prescription drugs represent 25 percent of our front-end sales, and like other North American drug store retailers, [Jean Coutu] has been impacted by substantial declines in the sales of cough/cold and flu medications due to a milder season this year,” Coutu told analysts. “Even though OTC sales were up during the third quarter, growth was down by 880 basis points year-over-year, accelerating the decline in OTC sales from the second quarter, when these sales were down 550 basis points year-over-year,” he said. “Sales growth was negative in our second-largest front-end category, health and beauty, due to price deflation in response to the appreciation and the value of the Canadian dollar as well as the price war amongst food stores and mass merchants that has affected overall market pricing.”

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