Fri. Jan 21st, 2022


Walgreens Boots Alliance has upgraded its year-round lead after strong trading at both its U.S. and international businesses, as Covid-19 testing and online sales boosted revenue in the first quarter.

The Illinois-based group said they expect adjusted earnings per share for the full year to grow at “mid-single digits” from last year’s $ 4.91, compared to a previous forecast of no increase.

Rosalind Brewer, chief executive, said on Thursday that performance in the first quarter “exceeded expectations” with group sales rising 7.8 percent to $ 33.9 billion and operating profit of $ 1.3 billion compared to a loss of $ 535 million in the same quarter. quarter last year.

Walgreens said the increases “reflect strongly adjusted gross profit growth across both pharmacies and retail in the US and a continued recovery in international sales and profitability”.

Retail sales in the same store rose 10 percent in the U.S. – the highest quarterly growth in two decades – and 16 percent at Boots, the UK pharmacy chain whose future is under review. Covid-19 testing accounted for just under a third of the growth in U.S. retail sales.

Although copper numbers at Boots’ stores remain a fifth below pre-Covid levels, online sales have almost doubled compared to pre-pandemic levels and the company has reiterated that it is taking market share in all sectors.

Brouer joined Walgreens from Starbucks last March after her predecessor Stefano Pessina, whose deals largely created the group in its current form, announced he was going to become executive chairman.

During her tenure, the group has shown a sharper focus on U.S. health care. The group has already sold its distribution business to AmerisourceBergen and has taken majority interests in the primary care provider VillageMD and the specialty pharmacy group Shields.

Brewer said its newly formed Walgreens Health division is deploying medical staff clinics at its drug stores “adversity” and that the company is “in the final stages of welcoming a new leader” for the unit.



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