Walgreens posts September comp sales gain of 7.4%

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Thursday posted September sales of $5.9 billion, an increase of 8% as compared with the same month in fiscal 2013.

Total front-end sales increased 4.1%, while comparable store front-end sales increased 2.9%. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 0.8% while basket size increased 3.7%.

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased by 9.6% in September and increased 6.7% on a calendar day-shift adjusted basis. This year's September had one additional Monday and one fewer Saturday compared with September 2012. These calendar shifts positively impacted prescriptions filled at comparable stores by 290 basis points.

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores also were positively impacted by 80 basis points due to more flu shots versus last year and were negatively impacted by 20 basis points due to lower incidence of flu in this year's September.

September pharmacy sales increased by 10.4%, while comparable store pharmacy sales increased 10.2% percent and increased by a calendar day-shift adjusted 7.3%. Calendar day-shift adjusted comparable store pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 70 basis points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months, and were positively impacted by 50 basis points due to more flu shots versus last year. 

Pharmacy sales accounted for 65% of total sales for the month.

Flu shots administered at pharmacies and clinics season to date were more than 1.9 million versus approximately 1.6 million last year.

Sales in comparable stores increased by 7.4% in September. Calendar day shifts positively impacted total comparable sales by 190 basis points, while generic drug introductions in the last 12 months negatively impacted total comparable sales by 50 basis points.

Walgreens opened 17 stores during September, including eight relocations, and closed one.

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