Walgreens Boots Alliance’s domestic sales edged up in its third-quarter but the pharmacy giant was hit by currency fluctuations and scaled back its proposed takeover of Rite Aid. 

The US-based group posted a 2.1% rise in sales to $30.1bn (£23.2bn), while adjusted operating profit increased 5.5% to $1.9 bn – up 7.5% on a constant currency basis.

It has unveiled plans today to scale back its planned acquisition of US rival Rite Aid, agreeing now to take over 2,186 stores and three warehouses for $5.17bn (£4bn).


Sales at Boots in the UK slipped 0.4% in the three months to May 31, which the retailer attributed to changes in pharmacy funding.

Comparable retail sales in the UK edged up 0.1%. The retailer said beauty was its strongest category during the period, assisted by the launch of a new No7 product.


Sales at Retail Pharmacy International, which includes Boots UK, Thailand, Norway, the Republic of Ireland, The Netherlands, Mexico and Chile decreased 0.2% on a constant currency basis to $2.8bn (£2.2bn).

Including the impact of currency fluctuations, international sales declined 10.3%.

Gross profit decreased 11.6% year-on-year, which the retailer also attributed to currency translation.

Operating profit in the third quarter decreased 36.3%.

Walgreens Boots Alliance executive vice chairman and chief executive Stefano Pessina said: “Our results this quarter continued to meet our expectations as strategic partnerships brought more patients to our US pharmacies.

“This led to our highest reported quarterly retail prescription market share in the US. Our ongoing cost transformation program continues to bear fruit and we remain confident in the long-term growth of our company.”

In April, the first Boots franchised store opened in South Korea. This is in line with the company’s strategy of expanding Boots retail presence in Asia.