Walgreen Co. saw same-store sales inch up in May, despite a healthy gain in overall revenue.

Walgreen Co., Walgreens, drug stores, pharmacy, Walgreens same-store sales, comparable store sales, Russell Redman

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May same-store sales edge up at Walgreens

June 2nd, 2009

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreen Co. saw same-store sales inch up in May, despite a healthy gain in overall revenue.

Sales in comparable stores rose 1% for the month, with pharmacy revenue climbing 1.5% and front-end sales edging up 0.2% versus a 6% increase a year ago, according to Walgreens. Comparable pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 4.5 percentage points because of generic drug introductions in the last 12 months, the chain said.

Total sales in May advanced 6.1% to $5.37 billion from $5.06 billion a year earlier.

May pharmacy sales rose 6.3%. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased 2.8% during the month, including 1.7 percentage points due to more patients filling 90-day prescriptions, which are counted as three 30-day prescriptions. Pharmacy sales represented 65% of Walgreens' sales in May.

The company noted that calendar day shifts had a negative impact on the month's results, since pharmacy patients fill more prescriptions during the week than on weekends. This year, May had one fewer weekday. Calendar shifts negatively impacted total comparable-store sales by 1.4 percentage points, comparable-pharmacy sales by 2.1 percentage points and prescriptions filled in comparable stores by 2.0 percentage points, the chain said.

Walgreens' calendar year-to-date sales were $26.57 billion, an increase of 6.7% from a year ago. Sales for the nine months of fiscal 2009 were $47.64 billion, up 7.2%. Comparable store sales for the fiscal year to date gained 1.9%.

In May, Walgreens opened 43 stores, including four relocations, and acquired 38 stores and closed three.

As of May 31, the chain operated 7,361 locations, including 6,857 drugstores. That represents a net gain of 605 stores versus a year ago and includes 73 stores acquired over the last 12 months.