Health and beauty group Alliance Boots has reported revenue up 11.6% to £9bn for the six months to September 30 and said it is well positioned for the second half including the key Christmas trading period.
Boots UK has reported revenue up 4%, and like-for-like revenue is up 3.4%. Total health and beauty revenue is up 6.2% or 5.4% in constant currency to £3.6bn.
In the pharmaceutical wholesale division, revenue is up 13.8% or 6.7% in constant currency to £6bn.
The figures are the first since the group hired former HBOS boss Andy Hornby as group chief executive.
Alliance Boots executive chairman Stefano Pessina said: “I am pleased that Alliance Boots continue to perform strongly, with revenue in the first half of the year up 11.6%, which puts us on track to deliver our 2009/10 targets. This performance is particularly encouraging despite the challenging economic conditions we all face.
“Our success continues to reflect the strength of our two core business activities, the markets in which we operate and the benefits we are generating through investment and through further developing and transforming the group.”
During the period, the group completed the Boots Opticians merger with Dollond & Aitchison.
Boots UK dispensing volumes increased by 5%, up 4.3% on a like-for-like basis. The group has opened a further four doctors’ surgeries were opened in Boots shops, taking its total to ten.
In September, Boots UK launched a pharmacy-led service to help protect women against two of the viruses responsible for cervical cancer cases. Following a pilot in London, the service is now being expanded across 134 Boots stores.
In October, the group launched BootsWebMD, its health and wellness information portal.
In health, the group said sales of Boots branded non-prescription medicines and healthcare products were particularly strong. In beauty, the group launched No 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum.
By Christmas the group expects to have rolled out nearly 1,000 Your Local Boots Pharmacy rebrandings, and it is also rebranding as Boots the 13 pharmacies it operates in Waitrose shops. It is also in discussions to sell each others’ ranges in stores.
The Boots.com order online and collect in store service is now available in nearly 2,000 Boots shops across the UK.
Total health and beauty revenue in countries outside the UK increased by 7.8% on the first half of last year, an increase of 1.6% on a constant currency basis. Like for like revenue on a constant currency basis decreased by 0.5% due to lower retail sales in the Republic of Ireland, which it said reflected the fragile state of the Irish economy. This offset the like for like growth in all its other countries.
In Norway, the group has converted over half of its pharmacies to Boots apotek. It is also trialling a Boots apotheek concept in the Netherlands.