Walgreens Boots Alliance grows with Rite Aid

Walgreens Boots Alliance grows with Rite Aid
James Kehoe is joining Walgreens Boots Alliance in June 2018 as global chief financial officer

29 March 2018 - Deborah Wilkes

Worldwide sales at Walgreens Boots Alliance rose by 12.1% to USD33.0 billion in the three months ended 28 February 2018. Alex Gourlay, co-chief operating officer, said Walgreens Boots Alliance had now completed the acquisition of 1,932 Rite Aid stores in the US.

Excluding currency translations, growth in worldwide sales at Walgreens Boots Alliance was slightly lower at 9.4%.

The largest division at Walgreens Boots Alliance – Retail Pharmacy USA, which houses the Walgreens and Duane Reade chains – reported sales up by 12.2% to USD24.5 billion in the quarter.

Walgreens Boots Alliance said growth had been driven by higher prescription volume following the formation of AllianceRx Walgreens Prime and the acquisition of Rite Aid stores.

The company noted that sales in comparable stores – those open at least a year – had increased by 2.4%.

Performance of international division

The Retail Pharmacy International division at Walgreens Boots Alliance – which houses Boots UK – reported sales up by 7.0% to USD3.32 billion in the three months ended 28 February 2018. The division also encompasses Boots in Thailand, Norway, Ireland and the Netherlands, as well as Benavides in Mexico and Ahumada in Chile.

Walgreens Boots Alliance pointed out the rise was due to currency translations. On a constant currency basis, sales were down by 2.6%.

The company added that comparable store sales had decreased by 1.7% on a constant currency basis.

The Pharmaceutical Wholesale division, which mainly operates under the Alliance Healthcare brand, recorded sales up by 14.4% to USD5.76 billion in the quarter. On a constant currency basis, comparable sales increased by 3.4% compared with the same period a year ago.

Walgreens Boots Alliance's total operating income was USD1.98 billion, representing a rise of 33.9% compared to the same period a year earlier.

Adjusted operating income was up by 7.3%, or 5.9% on a constant currency basis, to USD2.16 billion.

Kehoe to take over from Fairweather

Walgreens Boots Alliance recently appointed James Kehoe as executive vice president and global chief financial officer with effect from 1 June 2018. He was previously chief financial officer and board director at Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical.

Kehoe will take over from George Fairweather, who will become a senior adviser to chief executive officer Stefano Pessina for business development and finance.

Walgreens Boots Alliance describes itself as the "largest retail pharmacy, health and daily living destination across the US and Europe".

The US-based company says that – together with the organisations in which it has equity method investments – it has more than 13,200 stores in 11 countries as well as wholesaling interests in more than 20 countries.

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