April Showers Sales on Walgreens
Deerfield, Ill. Sales were up 7.9% in April 2008 over the same month a year ago at Walgreens stores, rising to $4.84 billion vs. $4.49 billion. Same-store sales were up 1.6% at the chain, although front-end same-store sales declined 3.1% for the month.
However, April sales were negatively impacted by the earlier Easter celebration in 2008, which occurred in March this year and April last year. For the two-month period, Walgreens’ sales increased 9.2% over March/April in 2007, and same-store sales rose 3.0% with front-end same-store sales up 4.0% in 2008.
Pharmacy sales for the month of April, not impacted by the change in holiday celebrations, increased 10.8% year-over-year and accounted for 66.9% of total sales for the month. Same-store pharmacy sales showed a 4.2% increase despite a reported 3.7% cut into pharmacy sales due to generic drug introductions over the last 12 months.
Sales for the 2008 calendar year were tracking in line with year-to-date sales for Walgreens’ fiscal year. In the first eight months of this fiscal year, Walgreens sales were $39.3 billion up 10.1% over the first eight months of 2007 when sales totaled $35.7 billion. Similarly, Walgreens sales for calendar 2008 were $19.8 billion up 10.6% over the same period last year.
In April, Walgreens opened 38 new stores, including four relocations, and acquired eight drugstores. The company also closed three stores. As of April 30, Walgreens operated 6,614 stores in 49 states.
Home Depot announces store closings, fewer openings in fiscal year
ATLANTA The Home Depot today announced that it plans to close 15 underperforming stores and said that it will no longer pursue the opening of approximately 50 U.S. stores.
However, the company reiterated its intention to open 55 new stores, which include 36 U.S. stores.
The 15 stores that will close represent less than 1% of the company’s store portfolio, but will impact approximately 1,300 associates. The company stated it will provide store managers and assistant store managers with positions elsewhere in the organization and will work to place the remainder of associates in comparable positions at other stores.
“Closing a store is always a difficult decision because it affects both our people and our communities,” said chairman and ceo Frank Blake. “But, as with our decision to slow future store growth, this is the right decision and will bring long-term benefits to our associates and to our shareholders. … By building fewer stores, in the best locations, and making sure our existing stores are profitable, our company will be in a much stronger competitive position.”
CVS/Caremark posts record first quarter results
WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark Corp. today announced its first quarter results, which were boosted by the addition of Caremark’s pharmacy benefits business as well as an early Easter holiday.
For the thirteen weeks ended March 29, 2008, the company posted net revenues of $21.3 billion, an increase of $8.1 billion from last year’s $13.2 billion. Same-store sales in the CVS/pharmacy division rose 3.9% over the prior year, benefitting from an earlier Easter that helped shift more holiday sales into March.
Net earnings for the quarter increased 83.1% to $748.5 million, or 51 cents per diluted share, compared to $408.9 million, or 43 cents per diluted share, in the prior year period.
“I’m very pleased with our results for the quarter, ” stated chairman, president and ceo Tom Ryan. “We delivered strong revenue and margin growth across our businesses that led to earnings at the high end of our expectations.”
During the quarter, the company opened 41 new retail pharmacy stores and closed 19 stores, two mail-order pharmacies and one specialty mail-order pharmacy. It also relocated 53 retail pharmacy stores and one specialty store.