Walgreens weathers May chill for Q3 sales gains

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens reported sales of $18.3 billion for the third quarter, up 3.3%. Same-store sales increased 1.3%, with front-end comparable store sales up by 0.3% and pharmacy comp sales up 2%. Prescriptions filled were up 7% for the quarter.

Sales of Walgreens' shares were up $1 to $49.03 in early-morning trading.

Walgreens reported that more than 72 million Walgreens faithful have signed on for the company's Balance Rewards loyalty program through May. 

Walgreens' May sales totaled $6.2 billion, representing an increase of 4.3%, with a 2.8% lift in same-store sales. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased by 7.1% in May and increased 7.5% on a calendar day-shift adjusted basis. This year’s May had one additional Friday and one fewer Tuesday compared with May 2012. These calendar shifts negatively impacted prescriptions filled at comparable stores by 40 basis points.

May pharmacy sales increased by 4.4%, while comparable store pharmacy sales increased 3.8% and increased by a calendar day-shift adjusted 4.2%. 

Pharmacy sales accounted for 63.1% of total sales for the month.

Total front-end sales increased 3.4% compared with the same month in fiscal 2012, while comparable store front-end sales increased 1.2%. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 3.5% while basket size increased 4.7%.

Walgreens opened 13 stores during May, including two relocations, and closed one.