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Shoppers Drug Mart has strong finish to 2015

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Front of store helps propel growth in comparable-store sales

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BRAMPTON, Ontario — Shoppers Drug Mart saw revenue and comparable-store sales climb for the 2015 fourth quarter and fiscal year.

Parent Loblaw Cos. said Thursday that for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 2, 2016, sales at Shoppers Drug Mart rose 4.8% to $2.975 billion (Canadian) from $2.839 billion a year earlier, excluding the 13th week in fiscal 2014 quarter. Pharmacy sales totaled $1.315 billion, and sales in the front end were $1.660 billion.

Same-store sales advanced 5% year over year for the 2015 fourth quarter, reflecting gains of 5.7% in the front end and 4.2% in the pharmacy. Prescription count declined 4.7% overall but edged up 3.2% on a comp-store basis, Loblaw said. Generic drugs accounted for 63.7% of prescriptions dispensed, compared with 62.5% a year ago. The average prescription value increased 0.9%.

For fiscal 2015, Shoppers Drug Mart’s sales came in at $11.797 billion, up 33.5% year over year from $8.835 billion, excluding the 53rd week in fiscal 2014. Pharmacy sales rose 30.4% to $5.545 billion, and front-end revenue was up 30.3% to $6.252 billion.

Comp-store sales grew 4.3% for 2015, including increases of 4.7% in the front end and 3.7% in the pharmacy. Prescriptions filled rose 2.1% overall and 4.3% on a same-store basis. Generics comprised 64.4% of prescriptions dispensed in 2015 versus 62.7% in 2014. Year over year, the average prescription value dipped 0.2%.

As of Jan. 2, Shoppers Drug Mart had 1,313 stores overall, compared with 1,302 a year earlier. Its drug store banners include Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix full-service pharmacies and Simply Pharmacy/Pharmaprix Simplement Santé medical clinic pharmacies. Shoppers Drug Mart also has more than 50 Shoppers Home Health Care stores.

Loblaw reported overall retail segment sales of $10.606 billion for the 2015 fourth quarter, up 2.2% from $10.375 a year earlier, excluding the 13th week in the 2014 fourth quarter. For full-year 2015, retail segment sales totaled $44.469 billion, up 8.6% from $40.942 billion in 2014, excluding that year’s 53rd week.

Food retail sales were $7.631 billion in the 2015 fourth quarter, up 1.3% from $7.536 billion in 2014 (excluding 13th week). Same-store sales gained 3.1% in the quarter. For the full 2015 fiscal year, food retail sales rose 1.8% to $32.672 billion from $32.107 billion in 2014 (excluding 53rd week). Comp-store sales edged up 1.9%.

Loblaw ended fiscal 2015 with 591 corporate-owned and 525 franchised food retail stores, compared with 615 and 527, respectively, a year earlier.

The retailer said it opened 47 food and drug stores and closed 62 food and drug stores in the 12 months ended Jan. 2, 2016, resulting in a 0.1% decrease in retail net square footage, stemming mainly from its store closure plan announced in 2015. During the 2015 first quarter, the company completed divestitures according to a consent agreement with Canada’s Competition Bureau related to the Shoppers Drug Mart acquisition, which was approved in March 2014.


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