The largest retail pharmacy, health and daily living group in the United States and Europe, Walgreens Boots Alliance, has reported a 39.9% increase in its third quarter net earnings to US$1.1bn for the period ending 31 May 2015. The group, created in December 2014 as a combination of Walgreens and Alliance Boots, also saw healthy third quarter sales, increasing by 48.4% to US$28.8bn compared with the previous period.
For its US retail pharmacy segment, whose principal pharmacy brands are Walgreens and Duane Reade, third quarter sales totalled US$20.4bn, an increase of 5.3% over 2014. Retail sales grew by 1.6% and pharmacy sales grew by 7.0%. In the first nine months of fiscal 2015, 104 drugstores opened, and 37 closed.
For its retail pharmacy international division, whose principal brand is Boots in the UK and other countries, third quarter sales were US$3.3bn, with a net increase of six stores over the quarter.
The results follow its April 2015 announcement of a US$1.5bn cost savings programme post-merger. So far, the company has closed nine US stores, expected to rise to 70–80 by the end of this fiscal year, and 200 by the end of fiscal year 2017. The retail pharmacy international segment will lose around 700 non-store-based roles, through attrition and redundancies.
The group’s pharmaceutical wholesale division had third quarter sales of US$5.7bn, an increase of 0.2% over 2014. The group also announced the promotion of its acting chief executive officer, Stefano Pessina, to CEO.