Walgreen Posts 4% Sales Increase in November
In terms of operations, November was hardly a chilly month for drugstore operator Walgreen . The company on Wednesday released selected financial and operating metrics for the month, revealing that sales came in at $6.07 billion. This was an improvement of more than 4% over the $5.83 billion in the same month of 2012. Overall front-end (i.e., non-pharmacy goods) take also rose on a year-over-year basis, by 3.2%, while pharmacy sales advanced by 4.7% across that same span of time.
Comparable-store sales grew 3.2% on a year-over-year basis, while front-end comps increased at a 1.9% clip. Comparable pharmacy sales were 4% higher, and customer traffic saw 0.8% growth.
In the press release detailing the figures, Walgreen attributed the gains to a "meaningful increase" in promotional activity. Customer caution also likely played a role; the company said that so far this season, 6.1 million people have come in for flu shots, compared to 4.6 million at the same point in 2012.
In its most recently reported quarter, it posted net earnings of $657 million ($0.69 per diluted share), a sharp increase from the $353 million ($0.39) of the same period the previous year.
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