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Boots sales fall 3% due to ‘decline in UK pharmacy funding’

Boots has announced a 3.4% fall in sales between June and August 2018 comparison with the same period last year.

The pharmacy chain blamed “lower prescription volume and a decline in UK pharmacy funding” for the sales drop, in its latest financial report. Sales in its pharmacies fell by 1.2% Boots announced in a conference call this morning, and the chain also announced that retail sales had fallen by 0.9%.

Boots said the fall in retail sales was “mainly due to Boots UK, where the beauty category declined in a challenging market, partially offset by higher sales in the health and wellness category”. The company’s UK division announced a steeper retail sales decline of 1.4%, after it faced “a challenging year” adding that it was “taking actions to address UK retail performance”.

Previously the chain has announced a 2% retail sales fall between March and May 2018 when compared with the previous year. Boots blamed the same factors of prescription volume and government funding.

Executive vice chairman and CEO Stefano Pessina said, “We are pleased to have delivered double digit percentage growth in earnings per share while returning $6.8bn (£4.5m) 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 U.S. increased year-over-year on an annual basis.

“We are making progress on our partnership strategy both in the U.S. and internationally, including our most recent announcements with LabCorp, Kroger and Alibaba, which will provide additional opportunities for future growth.”

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