Walgreens Boots Alliance, owner of the Boots pharmacy chain, has reported a fall in profits of 1.1% to US$4.2bn, while sales rose by 13.4% to $117.4bn, for its 2016 fiscal year, which ended on 31 August 2016.
Full year 2016 sales in its retail pharmacy international division, which includes Boots UK, were up 53% to US$13.3bn compared with full year sales for 2015. Pharmacy sales in Boots UK were up 0.6% for the fourth quarter compared with the same period in 2015.
Overall, 2016 sales in the company’s pharmaceutical wholesale division were up 48% to US$22.6bn compared with 2015.
Walgreens says its overall increase in sales mostly result from the inclusion of a full year of results from Alliance Boots for the first time since the merger between the two companies came into effect on 31 December 2014.
Walgreens says that it is on track to deliver $1.5bn in savings by the end of its 2017 financial year as part of its cost transformation programme, the majority of which will be derived from US operations. The company, which employs around 60,000 people in the UK, has implemented several rounds of redundancies to reduce UK costs, including the loss of 300–350 assistant store manager roles at larger stores and 700 office-based staff.
Stefano Pessina, chief executive and executive vice chair of Walgreens Boots Alliance, says: “We have continued to make good progress in putting in place the building blocks for the future growth of the business.”