Walgreen Boots, the parent company of Boots, has reported its first quarter trading has exceeded expectations after it was buoyed by the UK pharmacy and optician business.
The US-based firm announced that sales increased by 5.7% to $36.3bn (£26.7bn) over the three month period, while earnings decreased by 11.2%, ahead of projected expectations.
In the UK, Boots’ total sales dropped 11.5% due to tightening Covid-19 restrictions, however like-for-like pharmacy sales over the period increased by 2.5% due to NHS reimbursement mitigating the lower sales volumes.
According to Walgreen Boots, its UK-based franchise performed “very strongly” during the period, with sales up 106% against the same period last year.
Boots reported a 9.1% fall in like-for-like retail sales as its high street retail business continues to suffer during the pandemic, and has so far cut around 4,000 jobs.
Stefano Pessina, the group’s executive vice chairman and CEO, said: “Our first quarter results exceeded expectations as we continue to deliver on our strategic priorities.
“I am so proud of our teams and the historic and critical role they are playing to help the world emerge from the pandemic, administering Covid-19 vaccinations to frontline healthcare workers and vulnerable members of our society.”