In the front end, February comp-store sales edged up 1.6%. Comparable pharmacy sales gained 4.1%, reflecting a negative impact of 144 basis points from introductions of new generic drugs, which have lower prices. Prescription count at comparable stores grew 2.2% for the month.
Overall drug store sales in February edged up 1.7% to $2.557 billion from $2.513 billion a year earlier. Prescription sales represented 69.2% of total drug store sales, Rite Aid said.
For the fiscal 2015 fourth quarter ended Feb. 28, Rite Aid’s same-store sales advanced 4.5% versus a year ago, including gains of 2% in the front end and 5.7% in the pharmacy. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased 3.5% year over year.
Total drug store sales for the fourth quarter came in at $6.795 billion, up 3.5% from $6.564 billion in the prior-year period. Prescription sales accounted for 68.1% of overall drug store sales in the quarter.
For the 52-week 2015 fiscal year ended Feb. 28, comp-store sales rose 4.3%, reflecting increases of 1.2% in the front end and 5.8% in the pharmacy. Script count was up 3.5% for the year.
Drug store sales for fiscal 2015 totaled $26.345 billion, up 3.7% from $25.408 billion in fiscal 2014. Prescription sales represented 68.8% of overall drug store sales.
The fiscal 2015 sales results were in the high end of Rite Aid’s guidance. In reporting third-quarter results in December, the company projected fiscal 2015 sales of $26.25 billion to $26.4 billion and same-store sales growth of 3.75% to 4.25%.
As of Feb. 28, Rite Aid operated 4,570 drug stores, compared with 4,587 stores in the year-ago period.