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Boots recoups losses as post-tax profits rocket to £15m

Boots has recorded post-tax profits of £15 million for 2022, after falling more than £100m into the red in 2021, according to its latest financial documents.

Boots’ full accounts made up to August 31 2022, published on Companies House last week (May 25), revealed that the multiple’s post-tax profits increased by £126m compared with the previous year.

In 2022, it generated a post-tax profit of £15m, compared with a post-tax loss of £111m in 2021.

This was mainly due to a £47m improvement in its operating profits – up from £8m in 2021 to £55m in 2022 – and a “lower tax provision” of £64m mainly thanks to tax rate changes, the report said.


Pharmacy revenue up 1.1%


The accounts also revealed that Boots pharmacy revenue increased by 1.1% – from £2,283m in 2021 to £2,308m in 2022 – and made up 35.4% of the multiple’s overall revenue.

It said this was due to “favourable” NHS funding that “mitigated” the impact of ongoing lower prescription volume and reduced demand for services such as travel vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK.

Read more: Boots reports 2% pharmacy sales growth amid renewed sale rumours

Overall, the company’s revenue increased by 12% from £5,812m in 2021 to £6,512m last year, according to the document.

It also showed that Boots incurred £64m of “restructuring costs” during 2022, representing “one-off costs associated with changes in the company’s store portfolio alongside store and central support operating models”.

Read more: Boots kicks gender pay gap into touch as multiples reveal pay gap data

Boots takes an “active approach” to its store portfolio management, it said, adding that of the approximately 200 UK stores announced for closure or consolidation in 2019, the “majority” have now closed.   

The 2021 and 2022 restructuring led to a “year-over-year saving of £83m”, the report added.

It also revealed that directors’ remuneration more than doubled from £2.8m in 2021 to £6.6m in 2022 – with the “highest paid director” receiving £3.8m last year.


Boots shuts down fresh sale rumours


It comes as Boots has shut down renewed rumours that it is looking to sell its pharmacies.

A new report published by pharmacy sales specialists Hutchings yesterday (May 31) claimed that Boots' parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance is “in the throes of undertaking a strategic review of Boots pharmacies, possibly with an eye to a future sale”.

“Private equity investors are rumoured to be potential suitors,” it claimed.

Read more: Pharmacy buyer registrations ‘rocketed by colossal 202%’ in 2023, broker reveals

But a Boots spokesperson stressed that “nothing has changed” since the summer.

“In June 2022 the strategic review of the Boots business was paused and Walgreens Boots Alliance announced its decision to keep the Boots business under its existing ownership. Nothing has changed since this point,” they told C+D.

Read more: Stress levels and pay rises in 2022 at Boots, Lloydspharmacy and Well

The multiple previously faced rumours that its parent company was once again looking to sell the business in March, with reports that it planned to sell or float Boots by the end of the year – although Boots declined to comment at the time.

It came just months after a previous sale attempt fell through.

Read more: Boots growth ‘offset’ by fixed pharmacy funding deal, parent company says

The company confirmed in January 2022 that it was looking for potential buyers for its UK arm, with a rumoured price tag of £7bn.

But the sale eventually fell through in June last year after no prospective buyers were able to make an offer “that adequately reflect[ed] the high potential value” of Boots UK.

In July, WBA announced that it would continue to “stay open to all opportunities to maximise shareholder value”.

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