Walgreens' monthly sales up, same-store numbers drop

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens reported a 2.7% increase in its monthly sales, but noted a drop in same-store sales.

The drug store chain said its January sales totaled $5.36 billion, compared with $5.22 billion for the same month in 2009.

Despite the overall increase, Walgreens said its sales in comparable stores (those open at least a year) decreased 1.1%, which it attributed to calendar day shifts. Additionally, same-store pharmacy sales were negatively affected by 2.3 percentage points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months and a lower incidence of flu compared with January 2009.

In its pharmacy sales this month, Walgreens noted a 1.6% increase, while comparable pharmacy sales decreased 1.2%. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores, however, increased 2.7% in January, including 1.7 percentage points due to H1N1 flu shots and 1.4 percentage points due to more patients filling 90-day prescriptions. Calendar day shifts negatively impacted prescriptions filled in comparable stores by 1.9 percentage points, Walgreens said.

Pharmacy sales accounted for 66.2% of total sales for the month.

Total front-end sales increased 3.9% in January, while comparable store front-end sales decreased 1%.

Fiscal 2010 year-to-date sales for the first five months were $28.1 billion, up 6.8% from $26.3 billion.

Walgreens opened 18 stores during January, including four relocations, and closed one. At Jan. 31, Walgreens operated 7,665 locations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. That includes 7,162 drug stores, 503 more than a year ago, including 51 stores acquired over the last 12 months.

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