Walgreens reports strong sales growth

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens’ sales in July increased by nearly 11 percent, the company reported Monday.

The drug store chain reported sales of $4.89 billion, compared to $4.41 billion in July 2007, a 10.7 percent increase.

Strong food and beauty product sales helped fuel the increase, the company said. The allergy drug Zyrtec (cetirizine HCl), which recently became an over-the-counter drug, increased retail sales by 0.4 percent. Pharmacy sales for July increased by 10.8 percent and accounted for 66.2 percent of total sales.

The chain also expanded, opening 57 stores, including six stores it acquired and two that it relocated.

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