Walgreens announces positive February numbers

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens announced on Tuesday that February sales rose 14.5 percent as same-store sales climbed 8.3 percent.

Sales for the month totaled $4.93 billion, up 14.5 percent from $4.3 billion in the year-ago period. Same-store sales rose 8.3 percent, while same-store front-end sales increased 8.2 percent.

This year’s results benefited from one extra day because of leap year. Same-store sales for 28 days this year compared with 28 days last year rose 4.2 percent, while comparable front-end sales for 28 days increased 4.6 percent.

Pharmacy sales increased 14.7 percent, while same-store pharmacy sales increased 8.3 percent (4.1 percent for 28 days). According to Walgreens, comparable pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 4.6 percentage points on a 28-day comparison because of generic drug introductions in the last 12 months. Total prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased 7.4 percent (3.2 percent for 28 days). Pharmacy sales accounted for 64.5 percent of total sales for the month.

The retailer noted that, while more flu cases were reported during February, flu-related prescriptions did not reach the level of a year ago. Also impacting prescriptions was the late January switch of the drug Zyrtec from prescription to non-prescription status. The combined negative impact on February prescriptions filled for flu and Zyrtec was 1.4 percent on a 28-day comparable basis.

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