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Coming off strong Q1, Walgreens' Dec. sales grow

DEERFIELD, Ill. - Shortly after announcing a record-setting first quarter last month, Walgreens reported that its December sales rose 7.5% to $6.8 billion.

The chain said that Duane Reade stores, which Walgreens acquired in April 2010, contributed 2.5 percentage points.

Meanwhile, Walgreens also raked in a 9.5% increase for its total front-end sales, thanks to a spike in customer traffic and basket size. Pharmacy sales for the chain, which accounted for 58.6% of total sales for the month, saw a 6% boost.

Same-store sales for the drug store chain rose 2.8%, including a 3.6% rise in comparable front-end sales -- the highest increase the chain realized in 14 months -- and a 2.2% rise in comparable pharmacy sales.

During the month of December, Walgreens opened three stores, including one relocation, and acquired three stores.

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