Walgreens brings in new year with larger marketbasket

Metrics up despite fewer flu shots, more generics

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Thursday posted January sales of $5.9 billion, representing an increase of 11.3% from last year. Early morning trading of Walgreens stock was up 51 cents to $42.48.

Only 2.8 percentage points of that increase can be attributed to the acquisition of Duane Reade, the Deerfield, Ill.-based retailer stated. Total front-end sales increased 11.5% in January, and pharmacy sales increased 10.8%, accounting for 66.1% of total sales for the month.

Sales in comparable stores were up 6.1%, with the effect of calendar day shifts positively impacting total comparable sales by 0.7 percentage points. Comparable-store front-end sales increased 4.5%, and customer traffic in comparable stores increased 2.4%, while basket size increased 2.1%. Same-store pharmacy sales were up 6.9%, negatively impacted by 2.9 percentage points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months.

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased 6.3% in January, negatively impacted by 1.3 percentage points due to fewer flu shots. Flu shots administered season-to-date at pharmacies and clinics totaled more than 6.3 million.

Duane Reade stores were not included in any comparable-store results.

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