Walgreen (NASDAQ: WBA ) announced today that February sales were $6.05 billion, which represented a 5% improvement over the $5.76 billion posted in February of 2013. The company said factors including the weather and the introduction of generics held the number down.
In total, comparable-store sales-- a metric measuring sales at stores that have been open for more than a year -- at the drugstore chain were up 4.5% in the month, but the company noted its sales were negatively affected by 0.9 percentage points as a result of generic drugs which were introduced in the previous 12 months. In addition, Walgreen said the lower number of flu incidences reduced comparable sales by an additional 0.4 percentage points in February.
The company said 7.7 million flu shots were administered at pharmacies and clinics in the flu season to date, compared to 7.0 million last year. This helped bump up pharmacy sales numbers.
February sales at comparable Walgreens pharmacies rose by 6.1%, and total pharmacy sales grew by 6.7% year over year. Once more the company highlighted its comparable store sales were affected by generic drug introductions, which resulted in a 1.4-percentage-point reduction in pharmacy sales figures. In addition, the lessened flu incidents negatively affected comparable pharmacy sales by 0.7 percentage points. Pharmacy sales accounted for 62.9% of total sales for the month.
The company said total front-end sales increased 3% year over year.
In total, Walgreen noted it saw sales rise to $19.6 billion for the second quarter of its 2014 fiscal year (December through February), which represented a 5.2% increase over the $18.7 billion seen in the second quarter of 2013. Its comparable-store sales rose 4.5%, but the company highlighted its front-end sales were negatively affected by 0.6 percentage points by severe weather and that prescriptions filled at comparable stores were negatively impacted by 0.8 percentage points because of the weather. In addition Walgreen noted it saw increases in selling, general, and administrative expenses resulting from the severe weather.
The company concluded its release by revealing it has seen its total sales for the first six months of its 2014 fiscal year rise from $36 billion last year to $38 billion this year, an increase of 5.5%.