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Lloydspharmacy owner expects further branch closures across Europe

McKesson chief financial officer Britt Vitalone: We’re working to accelerate our UK restructuring
McKesson chief financial officer Britt Vitalone: We’re working to accelerate our UK restructuring

Lloydspharmacy’s parent company expects to close more branches “across Europe”, it has revealed.

US company McKesson, which owns Lloydspharmacy, referred to “expected further closures of retail pharmacy stores across Europe”, in slides to accompany its 2018-19 financial results, published yesterday (May 8).

When asked by C+D whether this means more Lloydspharmacies will close in the UK, McKesson said it had “no further details to add at this time”.

Closures have formed a key part of Lloydspharmacy’s recent business strategy. In 2017 it announced plans to stop trading in around 190 “commercially unviable” branches, in an effort to cope with the funding cuts in England.

C+D has since identified 78 of these branches that Lloydspharmacy has closed, and another 104 that it sold.

“Accelerating UK restructuring”

Discussing the financial results, McKesson executive vice president and chief financial officer Britt Vitalone also referred to “further closures of retail pharmacy stores…throughout Europe”, and said the business is “working to reinforce and accelerate our UK restructuring”.

McKesson is “focused on executing against key initiatives to strengthen the business in the UK”, he added.

Mr Vitalone predicted “low to mid-single digit percent revenue growth” in Europe for 2020, but added that this “assumes a modest improvement in our UK business”, with no additional funding cuts.

Expanding on his comments, McKesson president and chief operating officer Brian Tyler said “rationalising” its Lloydspharmacy portfolio and “restructuring operations” has “given us the confidence we can get Europe back to a modest growth next year”.

Adjusted operating profit for McKesson’s European pharmaceutical solutions division – which includes Lloydspharmacy – in the first three months of 2019 was $23 million (£17.7m), a 72% drop on the same period the previous year.

Have any pharmacies closed in your area recently?

Richard MacLeavy, Dispenser Manager/ Dispensing Assistant

My bet is they close all of the sainsburys pharmacies. Most of them only do a couple of thousand items a month. With long opening hours and virtually no retail its hard to think how they would ever become viable.

Paul Dishman, Pharmaceutical Adviser


Lloyds have bailed out of health centre pharmacies in Devon and Somerset that they bought for millions. That shows how desperate they are.


Leon The Apothecary, Student

I heard some Paydens were planning on closing as well, and along with Boots not-so-cryptic announcement I suspect we are going to see more closing. Local Pharmacy is going the way of the banks methinks.

Honest Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

All I can say is that it may not seem like a blessing for any Lloyds staff affected by closures, but in the long run it will be the best thing that ever happened to you. Trust me.

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