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Walgreens Q4 profit up 8%

Deerfield, Ill. Walgreen Co. said Tuesday its net income rose 8% in the fiscal fourth quarter on higher prescription drug sales. The results were above analyst expectations.

The Deerfield, Ill., company said Tuesday it earned $470 million, or 49 cents per share, for the quarter ended Aug. 31, up from $436 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 7% to $16.87 billion from $15.7 billion as the company continued to expand.

Same-store sales rose 1.5% during the quarter, while prescription sales at those stores rose 1.6%. Overall, the company said margins for non-pharmacy business benefited from pricing, promotion and other improved efficiencies, while pharmacy margins benefited from new generic introductions.

Walgreen runs 7,561 drug stores around the country. It has opened or acquired 564 locations in the last year, including the Duane Reade chain in Manhattan.

For the full fiscal year, the company earned $2.09 billion, up from $2.01 billion in the prior year. Revenue rose to $67.42 billion from $63.34 billion.

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