Walgreens reports 8.7% pharmacy comps lift for January

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens Tuesday morning reported January sales of $6.2 billion, an increase of 6.3% as compared to the same month in fiscal 2012.

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased by 13.6% in January and increased 11.6% on a day-fall adjusted basis. This year's January had one additional Wednesday and Thursday and one fewer Sunday and Monday compared with January 2012, positively impacting prescriptions filled in comparable stores by 2 percentage points. DFA prescriptions filled at comparable stores were positively impacted by 2.3 percentage points due to the higher incidence of flu in this year's January and by 2 percentage points due to more flu shots administered in the month.

Walgreens reported that the percentage of Express Scripts customers filling prescriptions in its pharmacies continued to increase in January.

January pharmacy sales increased by 8.7%, while comparable store pharmacy sales increased 6.2% and by a day-fall adjusted 4.2%. DFA comparable store pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 6 points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months. 

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

Flu shots administered at pharmacies and clinics season-to-date were nearly 6.9 million versus approximately 5.5 million last year.

Total front-end sales increased 1.3% compared with the same month in fiscal 2012, while comparable store front-end sales decreased 0.4%. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 2.8% while basket size increased 2.4%.

Sales in comparable stores increased by 3.7% in January. Calendar day shifts positively impacted total comparable sales by 1.3 percentage points, while generic drug introductions in the last 12 months negatively impacted total comparable sales by 3.9 percentage points.

Registrations for Walgreens Balance Rewards loyalty program, which launched in September, totaled nearly 55 million through January.

Walgreens opened nine stores during January, including two relocations, acquired two stores and closed two.

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