Walgreens Boots Alliance quarterly profit drops 22%

Walgreens Boots Alliance has posted a 22% drop in quarterly profit in the wake of the sale of some of its shares in Guangzhou Pharmaceuticals.

For the quarter ending November 30, net earnings decreased 22.1% to $821m (£606m) compared with the same time last year, while sales increased 7.9 percent to $30.7bn (£22.6bn).

The fall in profit is attributed to an impairment charge related to the sale of 30% of its shares in Chinese wholesale partner Guangzhou Pharmaceuticals, which it announced in December.

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Retail Pharmacy International, the subsidiary within Walgreen Boots Alliance of which
Boots in the UK is a part, recorded sales of $3.1bn (£2.2 billion) a 0.8% decrease. Like-for-like sales also decreased by 4.1%.

However, adjusted diluted net earnings per share were $1.28, an increase of 16.4%, while adjusted net earnings attributable to Walgreens Boots Alliance increased 7.8% to $1.3bn (£959m).

Executive vice chairman and CEO Stefano Pessina, said: “I am pleased that we delivered another strong performance in the first quarter, led by continued prescription volume and market share growth in Retail Pharmacy USA.”

Pessina added that the firm’s plans for the acquisition Rite Aid stores following regulatory clearance for the transaction in September, are still afoot. He said: “Since the end of the quarter, we announced an agreement to acquire 40% of Sinopharm Holding Guoda Drugstores, a leading retail pharmacy chain in China, where regulatory changes have allowed us to prioritize retail opportunities.

“We also have accepted an offer to sell part of our investment in our Chinese wholesale partner Guangzhou Pharmaceuticals Corporation for a substantial cash return.”

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