Boots has recorded declines across its beauty and pharmacy sales, which Walgreens Boots Alliance attributed to “lower prescription volume and a decline in UK pharmacy funding”.
The health and beauty giant’s international division, which includes the UK, recorded a 1.9% decline in sales to $2.9bn (£2.2bn) overall, exacerbated by a 3.4% fall in like-for-like sales across its pharmacy division.
The group’s international retail like-for-like sales also declined 0.9%, which the group said was “mainly due to Boots UK, where the challenging market impacted its beauty category, although this was partially offset by higher sales in the health and wellness category”.
Excluding the UK, Walgreens Boots Alliances’ international like-for-like sales rose 1.1%, spurred by strong performance in Thailand and the Republic of Ireland.
The group’s US division delivered a 14.4% increase in sales during the period to $25.5bn (£19.3bn).
Across its financial year Walgreens Boots Alliance’s operating income rose 15.4% to $6.4bn (£4.8bn), driven by an 11.3% boost in sales to $131.5bn (£99.6bn).
Executive vice chairman and chief executive Stefano Pessina said: “We are pleased to have delivered double-digit percentage growth in earnings per share while returning $6.8bn to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends in fiscal 2018.
“The integration of the acquired Rite Aid stores is on track, and our pharmacy market share in the US increased year-over-year on an annual basis.
“We are making progress on our partnership strategy both in the US and internationally, including our most recent announcements with LabCorp, Kroger and Alibaba, which will provide additional opportunities for future growth.”