Walgreen Co. ended a downward trend in same-store sales with a small uptick in February.

Walgreens, same-store sales, February, pharmacy, front end, prescriptions, Russell Redman

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February same-store sales virtually flat at Walgreens

March 3rd, 2010

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreen Co. ended a downward trend in same-store sales with a small uptick in February.

The drug store chain on Wednesday reported a 0.4% year-over-year gain in same-store sales for the month, improving from a 1.1% decline in January and a 0.3% dip in December.

Comparable-pharmacy sales for February inched up 0.9%, reflecting a negative impact of 2.4 percentage points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months and a lower incidence of flu versus February 2009, according to Walgreens. 

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores rose 3.6% in February, including increases of 1.5 percentage points because of more patients filling 90-day prescriptions and 0.3 percentage points due to H1N1 flu shots, the company said.

In the front end, same-store sales were down 0.6% in February. The retailer said the decrease stems from continued weak demand for discretionary items and a lower incidence of flu.

Walgreens' overall sales for February climbed 3.2% to $5.31 billion, including a 3.7% rise in pharmacy revenue and a 4.5% gain in front-end sales during the month.

Calendar year-to-date sales came in at $10.64 billion, up 2.7% from $10.36 billion in the 2009 period.

Fiscal 2010 year-to-date sales for the first six months, meanwhile, totaled $33.34 billion, an increase of 6.1% from $31.42 billion a year earlier.

During February, Walgreens opened seven stores, acquired 11 and closed one. As of Feb. 28, the retailer operated 7,179 drug stores, 501 more than a year ago, including 59 stores acquired over the last 12 months.