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Walgreens achieves record sales, Rx growth

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens announced on Tuesday record sales and earnings for the second quarter as it celebrated a milestone of filling 1-in-every-5 retail prescriptions for the first time in the company's history.

Net earnings for the quarter were $739 million, or 80 cents per diluted share, compared with $669 million, or 68 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Sales during the quarter rose 8.9% to a record $18.5 billion. Same-store sales rose 4.1%, as front-end same-store sales rose 4.3%. Duane Reade stores are not included in the same-store sales results. Pharmacy same-store sales rose 3.9%.

The company filled 205 million prescriptions, an increase of 6.9% over last year's second quarter. Prescription sales, which accounted for 62.9% of sales in the quarter, climbed 7.7%. The company exceeded by 3.1 percentage points the industry-wide prescription growth rate, excluding Walgreens, during the same period, as reported by IMS Health. For the second quarter, Walgreens increased its retail prescription market share to 20.1%.

"We achieved a milestone during the quarter by filling one of every five retail prescriptions for the first time in company history," stated Greg Wasson, president and CEO of Walgreens. "Our front-end sales were led by great execution from our merchandising, marketing and operations team, resulting in a strong holiday season in December and a strong Valentine's Day performance in February. A later onset to the cough-cold and flu season, compared with a year-ago also helped front-end comparable-store sales show solid increases for the quarter as both customer traffic and basket size increased."

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