RAD posts positive January comps amid strong flu season

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid reported a 0.3% increase in comps for the month of January, the retail pharmacy chain said Thursday.

The increase included a 4.2% increase in front-end comps, 2.4% of which came from sales of OTC flu products. Pharmacy comps decreased by 1.4%, while same-store prescription count increased 5%, 3.4% of which came from flu-related prescriptions and flu shots. Total store sales for the four-week period, which ended Saturday, decreased 0.5% to $1.91 billion.

The retailer's January comps beat analyst estimates, particularly on the front end. Guggenheim Securities had forecast a 0.5% decrease in front-end comps, as well as a 2.5% decrease in pharmacy comps and a slightly larger decrease in overall comps.

Comps for the 47-week period that ended Saturday increased 0.1%, including a 1.6% increase in front-end comps and a 0.7% decrease in pharmacy comps as same-store prescription count increased 3.7%.

Total store sales for the 47-week period decreased 0.6% to $22.83 billion.

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