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Boots services up 40% thanks to ‘popular’ online weight loss service

The multiple has reported a 1.7% pharmacy sales increase for the year’s second quarter, attributing it in part to increased online services, as its parent company posted $5.9bn in losses. 

 “Boots saw services deliver growth of almost 40%” in the second fiscal quarter of this year, the multiple announced today (March 28).

It said that the increase was “driven by continued strong performance of Boots Online Doctor, with weight loss proving the most popular and fastest growing service”.

Boots added that its pharmacists had completed “over 20,000” Pharmacy First consultations carried “in the first few weeks of operating”.

And it revealed that “for the three months to February 29”, retail sales grew by 5.9%.

However, its parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) revealed today that the UK multiple’s “comparable” pharmacy sales grew by a more modest 1.7% last quarter compared with the same period last year.

In 2024’s first quarter, Boots reported an increase in pharmacy sales of 0.8% compared with the first quarter of 2023.

In September, the multiple said that its weight loss service, which includes an online consultation and one month’s prescription, would cost patients from £199. 


“Continuing to strategically review our portfolio”


Meanwhile, WBA’s quarterly fiscal report revealed a net loss of $5.9 billion “compared to net earnings of $703 million in the year-ago quarter”.

Commenting on the results, WBA chief executive Tim Wentworth said that the company remains “confident in [its] goal of achieving $1bn in cost savings this year”.

He stressed that while the business had a “strong execution in pharmacy” in the second quarter, it was continuing “to operate in a challenging retail environment”.

“We are continuing to strategically review our portfolio over the next three months in an effort to ensure it drives growth and delivers value,” he added. 

At the time, when asked by C+D whether this includes selling or floating Boots UK, WBA declined to clarify.

But in December, Bloomberg reported that WBA was said to be considering listing the £7bn UK pharmacy chain on the stock exchange.

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