Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) announced today that same-store sales last month overall were up 1.5%. Front-end same-store sales decreased 1.8% while pharmacy same-store sales rose 3.1%. Total sales rose from $2.46 billion in the comparable period last year to $2.515 billion this year for the five-week period ended March 1, representing an increase of 2.4%.

Rite Aid said 0.5 percentage points of its front-end sales drop was attributable to the reduction in sales of over-the counter flu products. The company highlighted that its pharmacy same-store sales were up 3.1% for the period, even after accounting for a 1.4-percentage-point negative impact from the introduction of generic products. In total, prescription sales represented 69.1% of the total sales at Rite Aid.

On March 1, Rite Aid operated 4,587 stores, compared to 4,623 stores a year ago.

Yesterday, competitor Walgreen reported its comparable-store sales rose by 4.5% in February, while total sales were up 5% to $6.1 billion. It also noted the impact of a less virulent flu season.

For the quarter ended on March 1, Rite Aid saw total sales rise 2.2% to $6.6 billion -- a slightly slower pace than seen in February. However, same-store sales were up 2.1%, and the reduction in front-end sales was less visible, at a decline of 0.7%.

Rite Aid concluded its earnings update by noting that total sales for the 52-week period ended March 1 rose 0.5% to $25.4 billion, from $25.3 billion in the corresponding year-ago period. 

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