Front-end sales warm up Walgreens February results

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Higher front-end sales for the month of February helped counter-balance lost revenue from Express Scripts prescriptions, Walgreeens reported Monday. Overall, the drug store chain reported a 1.5% sales increase to $5.9 billion.

Shares of Walgreens were up slightly by 8 cents to $32.77 in early morning trading.

This year’s total February sales benefited from one extra day because of leap year, the company noted. 

Total front-end sales increased 6.9% compared with the same month in 2011, while comparable-store front-end sales increased 2%. Customer traffic in comparable stores was down 0.2% while basket size was up 2.2%.

Total sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2012 were $18.6 billion, up 0.7% from the same period a year ago.

Fiscal 2012 year-to-date sales for the first six months were $36.8 billion, up 2.6%. Calendar year-to-date sales were $11.6 billion, a decrease of 0.6%.

Walgreens opened 10 stores during February, including one relocation, and acquired one store.