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Walgreens realizes 4.8% same-store sales gain in August


DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Thursday posted August sales of $6.2 billion, an increase of 5.6%. Sales in comparable stores increased by 4.8% in August. 

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased by 5.6% in August and increased 7.4% on a calendar day-shift adjusted basis. This year’s August had one additional Saturday and one fewer Wednesday compared with August 2012. These calendar shifts negatively impacted prescriptions filled at comparable stores by 180 basis points.  

August pharmacy sales increased by 6.4%, while comparable store pharmacy sales also increased 6.4% and increased by a calendar day-shift adjusted 8.2%. Calendar day-shift adjusted comparable store pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 130 basis points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months. 

Pharmacy sales accounted for 64.3% of total sales for the month.

Total front-end sales increased 3.9% compared with the same month in fiscal 2012, while comparable store front-end sales increased 2.2%. "While promotions seem to be on the rise in an attempt to drive traffic, led by Walgreens, overall sales growth is still likely to be somewhat challenged by the weak consumer, competitive pressures … and the negative impact more aggressive pricing has on basket," remarked Credit Suisse analyst Ed Kelly in a note published last week. 

Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 1.5% while basket size increased 3.7%. 

Registrations for Walgreens Balance Rewards loyalty program, which launched in September 2012, totaled more than 83 million through August. 

Total sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, which ended Aug. 31, were $18 billion, up 5.1%. Comparable store sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 increased 4.5% with front-end comparable store sales for the quarter increasing 1.7%. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased 6.8% in the fourth quarter and comparable pharmacy sales increased 6.2%.

Year-to-date sales totaled $48.2 billion, an increase of 3.7%. Total sales for fiscal 2013 were $72.2 billion, up 0.8%.

Walgreens opened 14 stores during August, including two relocations.

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