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Rite Aid posts sales gains for February, fiscal year

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CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid Corp. kept up its same-store sales momentum in February and reported increased sales for the fourth quarter and fiscal year, the latter finishing in line with the company’s forecast.

Rite Aid Newtown Sq PA frontRite Aid said Thursday that for the five weeks ended Feb. 28, comparable-store sales rose 3.3% year over year. The uptick followed increases of 4.8% in January and 5.3% in December.

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.


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