Lloydspharmacy’s parent company Celesio recorded a 55.6% pre-tax profit surge in its first half, in a performance that was “in line with expectations”.

Celesio, which also operates and supplies pharmacies throughout Europe, has recorded pre-tax profit of €135.7m. However, group revenue fell 4.6% to €10.7bn in the first six months of the year.

The company said it regards the UK as its “most important pharmacy market”, and that Lloydspharmacy showed “positive” signs in the first half. Celesio added that integrating the retailer’s pharmacy and wholesale operations more closely “is bearing fruit”.

But Celesio said that the cost savings in the UK in the period were not enough to offset Government measures relating to the reimbursement prices to pharmacists for popular generic drugs as well as negative currency effects from the weak pound.

Sales at the consumer division, which comprises its pharmacies, slipped 2.3% to €1.7m.

Celesio said that was a result of restructuring its Czech operations. But it added that after currency adjustments sales in the consumer division jumped 1.2% due to new UK service contracts.

Celesio has had to adjust forecasted earnings down because of fierce competition in the German discount market.

Celesio now expects full-year earnings to hit between €405m and €425m, down from initial expectations of between €445m and €475m.