Winter no match for Walgreens in second quarter

Severe winter weather was unable to put a damper Walgreens’ February sales and overall second-quarter results for the period ended Feb. 28.

The company reported February sales of $6.1 billion, an increase of 5% percent compared to the same month in fiscal 2013. Total sales for the quarter were $19.6 billion, up 5.2%.

February pharmacy sales increased by 6.7%, while comparable store pharmacy sales increased 6.1%. Comparable store pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 1.4 percentage points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months, and were positively impacted by 0.1 percentage point due to more flu shots in February versus last year. The lower incidence of flu negatively impacted pharmacy sales by 0.7 percentage point. Pharmacy sales accounted for 62.9% of total sales for the month.

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased by 2.2% in February. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores were positively impacted by 0.1 percentage point due to more flu shots in the month versus last year but were negatively impacted by 1 percentage point due to the lower incidence of flu in February 2014.

Flu shots administered at pharmacies and clinics season to date were 7.7 million versus nearly 7 million last year.

Total front-end sales increased 3% compared with the same month in fiscal 2013, while comparable store front-end sales increased 2%. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 0.7% while basket size increased 2.7%.

Sales in comparable stores increased by 4.5% in February. Generic drug introductions in the last 12 months negatively impacted total comparable sales by 0.9 percentage point, while the lower incidence of flu negatively impacted total comparable sales by 0.4 percentage point.

Comparable store sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 increased 4.5%, while front-end comparable store sales for the quarter increased 2%. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased 2.4% in the second quarter and comparable pharmacy sales increased 6.1%.

Severe winter weather is estimated to have negatively impacted second quarter comparable store front-end sales by 0.6 percentage point and negatively impacted the quarter's prescriptions filled at comparable stores by 0.8 percentage point. Additionally, the company incurred incremental selling, general and administrative expenses throughout the quarter from the severe weather.

Walgreens opened eight stores during February, including five relocations.

On Feb. 28, Walgreens operated 8,681 locations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. That includes 8,209 drugstores, 138 more than a year ago, including 60 net stores acquired over the last 12 months.