Walgreen same-store sales rise 3.4 percent

2/07/2008 - 14:19

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Walgreen Co , one of the largest U.S. drugstore operators, said on Wednesday that June sales at stores open at least one year rose 3.4 percent, led by general merchandise purchases.

Pharmacy same-store sales rose 3.3 percent in June, while same-store sales for general merchandise, known as front-end sales, rose 3.5 percent. The shift of allergy medicine Zyrtec to over-the-counter status helped front-end sales and cut into the number of prescriptions sold.

Generic drug introductions in the past 12 months cut pharmacy same-store sales by 2.1 percentage points, the company said. Generic drugs cost less, lowering sales figures, but are more profitable for drugstores.

Total prescriptions filled at comparable stores rose 0.8 percent in the month.

Pharmacy sales accounted for 65.4 percent of total sales in the month. Total sales in June rose 9.9 percent to $4.81 billion, Walgreen said.

(Reporting by Brad Dorfman and Aarthi Sivaraman, editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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