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Boots retail sales up nine per cent as pharmacy sales dip

Pharmacy News

Boots retail sales up nine per cent as pharmacy sales dip

Boots UK saw retail sales grow almost nine per cent in the three months to November 30, its latest financial results reveal.

Yesterday (January 5) parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance posted its latest quarterly results, showing that UK retail sales were up 8.7 per cent on the same period in 2021.

However, pharmacy sales were down 0.9 per cent “due to lower demand for Covid-19 services”. Overall sales were up by four per cent.

A call with investors yesterday heard that “the expiration of temporary rental reductions received in the prior year” had also negatively affected Boots’ financial performance. 

Boots attributed the “strong performance” of its retail business to a “record-breaking” Black Friday promotion, the popularity of own-brand products and healthy digital sales, which now account for 18 per cent of all retail sales.

In-store footfall was up eight per cent on the previous year, with the multiple claiming this recovery waDrop s “ahead of UK retail footfall”.

While December figures will not be published until spring this year, the multiple says there are early indications that the Christmas period saw “strong” retail sales, with growth of around 15 per cent compared to December 2021.

Boots UK and Ireland managing director Seb James said: “It has been another positive quarter for Boots. Our focus on giving customers our best ever value to help with cost of living pressures, as well as continued investment in our digital capability and in updating our store estate, has resulted in increased retail sales and market share growth for the seventh consecutive quarter.

“Our Black Friday and Christmas performance was particularly pleasing and I would like to thank the teams for their huge efforts in bringing our customers genuinely fantastic offers.”

Overall, WBA had an operating loss of $6.2bn in the September-November quarter, driven by a $6.5bn pre-tax charge for opioid claims and litigation in the US.

WBA chief executive officer Rosalind Brewer said: “WBA delivered a solid start to the fiscal year, as we continue to accelerate our transformation to a consumer-centric healthcare company.

Our core retail pharmacy businesses in both the United States and United Kingdom remain resilient in challenging operating environments.

“Execution across segments reinforces our confidence in achieving full-year guidance, and our strategic actions are creating long-term shareholder value."

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