The multiple’s parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance saw a 1.7% drop in pharmacy sales in its retail pharmacy international division – which includes Boots – from March to May 2018, compared with the same period last year.
But this drop was even steeper – at 2% – within Boots itself, which the multiple attributed to “lower prescription volume” and the reduction in “government funding”, it told journalists this afternoon (June 28).
In its latest financial report, published today, Walgreens Boots Alliance said its retail sales had also fallen – by 1.3% – in this division, which was “mainly due to Boots UK”.
The company said “over 80%” of this decline was due to the “phasing of certain selling, general and administrative expenditures” at Boots. “The remaining decline reflects lower gross profit, largely offset by containment measures.”
It follows a 2.8% fall in retail sales for December 2017 to February 2018 – when compared with the same period the previous year – which the company said at the time was also “mainly due to Boots UK”.
Wholesale sales rise
Meanwhile, the company’s wholesaler division – which includes Alliance Healthcare – saw sales increase by 4% between March and May 2018.
While this was below Walgreens Boots Alliance’s estimate, it pointed out that “challenging market conditions in certain continental European countries” had been “partially offset by strong performance in emerging markets and the UK”.
Overall sales across Walgreens Boots Alliance increased 14% to $34.3bn (£26.2bn) compared with the same period last year, it said.
CEO Stefano Pessina said he was “pleased that, in what has been a challenging environment, we have again delivered solid earnings per share growth combined with healthy cash flow”.