Alliance Boots executive chairman Stefano Pessina described the group’s trading performance as “relatively resilient” as the group revealed first-half revenues were up 11.3 per cent.

Alliance Boots said trading in the six months to September 30 had been in line with its expectations and that it is on track to deliver its profit and cash flow goals for 2008/09.

The group’s health and beauty division increased like-for-like sales by 3.5 per cent to£3.37 billion. The wholesale pharmaceuticals division was the group’s best-performing, with revenues up 17. 3 per cent over the first half of last year to£5.32 billion.

Total revenues in the UK increased 1.8 per cent on a like-for-like basis, with its UK health and beauty operation, which largely consists of the Boots pharmacy chain, reporting sales up 0.5 per cent.

The retailer said it was making good progress with updating its stores to “Your local Boots pharmacy” branding, with more than 200 stores converted to date.

It added it was well positioned for its second half, including the Christmas trading period, despite the poor outlook for consumer spending.

Boots also noted that more than three quarters of group revenue comes from “health-related activities", primarily prescription medicines, for which demand will continue to grow in both the short and long term.