Generic drug introductions at Walgreens had a negative impact on total comparable sales, but the company still reported net sales of $7.2 billion, an increase of 7.2%, and a comparable-store sales increase of 6.1% in December.
Calendar day shifts positively impacted total comparable sales by 170 basis points, while generic drug introductions in the last 12 months negatively impacted total comparable sales by 70 basis points. December 2013 had one additional Tuesday and one fewer Saturday compared with December 2012.
Total front-end sales increased 4% compared with the same month in fiscal 2013, while comparable store front-end sales increased 2.5%. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 1.3% while basket size increased 3.8%.
Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased by 5.3% in December and increased 2.4% on a calendar day-shift adjusted basis. These calendar shifts positively impacted prescriptions filled at comparable stores by 290 basis points.
Prescriptions filled at comparable stores were negatively impacted by 40 basis points due to fewer flu shots in the month versus last year and were negatively impacted by 80 basis points due to the lower incidence of flu in December 2013.
December pharmacy sales increased by 10.2%, while comparable store pharmacy sales increased 9% and increased by a calendar day-shift adjusted 6.1%.
Pharmacy sales accounted for 58.3% of total sales for the month.
Flu shots administered at pharmacies and clinics season to date were more than 6.7 million versus nearly 5.5 million last year.
Calendar 2013 sales totaled $73.7 billion, an increase of 4.5%. Fiscal 2014 year-to-date sales for the first four months were $25.5 billion, up 6.3% as compared to the comparable period in fiscal 2013.
Walgreens opened five stores during December, including one relocation, acquired three stores and closed six.