‘Good growth’ in retail sales at Boots in the Republic

By Eamon Quinn

The US owner of Boots pharmacies in Ireland rated growth in sales in the Republic as “good” but gave no new details about whether it was mulling further expansion to its 86 outlets in the Republic and 84 stores in the North.

Boots chemists are part of the Retail Pharmacy International division of the US stock market-listed Walgreens Boots Alliance giant.

Growth in sales in Boots in the Republic was “good” in the three months to the end of August, said Walgreens, even as fourth-quarter sales across its Retail Pharmacy International division fell 1.9% from a year earlier, to $2.9bn (€2.5bn), dragged down by Boots UK, “where the beauty category declined in a challenging market”.

“Excluding the UK, comparable retail sales rose 1.1%, with good growth in the Republic of Ireland and Thailand,” it said.

It didn’t comment on the sales performance of Boots in the North where it employs 1,600.

Across all three divisions, including Retail Pharmacy USA and Pharmacy Wholesale, Walgreens posted a 13% hike in earnings per share, as sales rose 10.9% to $33.4bn in the quarter.

It said integrating the purchase of Rite Aid stores in the US was “on track”.

The shares, which rose 2.5% in the latest session, have risen 8.7% in the past year, valuing the company at $71.7bn (€62.3bn).

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