Walgreen Co. reported Wednesday that its sales rose 2.8 in December but key sales measurement missed Wall Street’s expectations.
The company said that pharmacy revenue increased 2.2 percent while non-pharmacy revenue posted a gain of 3.6 percent. That was the largest increase in more than one year.
The company’s health is mainly dependent on sales at stores. The results fell short of analysts’ expectation of 3.3 percent for sales at stores, 2.9 percent increase in pharmacy revenue, and 3.7 percent increase in non-pharmacy, or front-end, revenue.
Pharmacy and non-pharmacy sales rose 6 percent and 9.5 percent respectively. Although the number of customer visits fell, customers splashed 2.7 percent more money during their visits.
Its’ total revenue was $6.81 billion, up 7.5 percent, still higher than that of one year earlier.
In the latest month, Walgreen sold over 380,000 flu shots. To date, it has provided nearly 6 million flu shots for the season.
According to Walgreen, 2.5 percent of that growth came from Duane Reade stores. In February 2010, the company agreed to buy New York City-area chain Duane Reade for about $620 million, excluding debt. This deal is its largest retail acquisition ever and gave it a dominant presence in New York City. The Deerfield, Ill.-based chain tacked on 258 New York City-area locations.
As of September 30, 2010 Walgreens had 7,563 stores and the number 7,665 in the next three months. In addition, it had home care facilities, 471 worksite health centers, and specialty and mail service pharmacies. It has expanded throughout the United States.
Walgreen mainly provides access to consumer goods and services and pharmacy, health services through its retail stores, Walgreens Health and Wellness division, and Walgreens Health Services division.