Walgreens registers $5.9 billion in August sales, down 4.5%; reports Q4, year-end sales

 DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Thursday reported August sales of $5.9 billion, a decrease of 4.5% as compared with the same month in fiscal 2011.

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores decreased 6.8% in August. Higher incidence of flu positively impacted comparable store prescriptions filled by 0.4 percentage point. The negative impact on comparable-store prescriptions filled due to not being part of the Express Scripts pharmacy network was 10.7 percentage points in August. Prescriptions processed by Express Scripts comprised 12.6% of Walgreens prescriptions in August 2011.

August pharmacy sales decreased 7.2%, while comparable-store pharmacy sales decreased 12.4%. In addition to the Express Scripts impact, comparable-store pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 7.9 percentage points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months. Pharmacy sales accounted for 64.1% of total sales for the month.

Total front-end sales increased 0.9%, compared with the same month in 2011, while comparable-store front-end sales decreased 0.6%. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 2.2%, while basket size increased 1.6%.

Sales in comparable stores decreased by 8.2% in August. The effect of generic drug introductions in the last 12 months negatively impacted total comparable sales by 5.1 percentage points.

Total sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, which ended Aug. 31, were $17.1 billion, down 4.9%. Comparable-store sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 decreased 8.7%, while front-end comparable-store sales for the quarter decreased 1.3%. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores decreased 8% in the fourth quarter and comparable pharmacy sales decreased 12.6%.

Total sales for fiscal 2012 were $71.6 billion, down 0.8%. Comparable-store sales for fiscal 2012 decreased 3.6%.

Walgreens opened 18 stores during August, including six relocations, and closed two.

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