27 June 2024

Boots posts sales growth as parent firm reveals US store closures

27 June 2024

Boots has revealed a jump in sales for the latest quarter, as its parent firm cut profit forecasts and announced US store closures.

Boots UK revealed higher sales across its pharmacy and retail businesses over the quarter to the end of May.

However, total sales growth slowed to 1.6% as it was impacted by store closures over the past year.

Over the past year, Boots has shut around 300 shops to take its store estate down to 1,900 sites.

On Thursday, parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance said it plans to shut more of its underperforming US shops following a strategic review.

WBA also cuts its earning per share guidance for the financial year to August, amid a “challenging US retail environment”.

Overall group sales were 2.6% higher at 36.4 billion dollars (£28.8 billion) for the quarter to May, as its US business saw stronger pharmacy sales offset a retail slump.

In the UK, comparable retail sales grew by 6% year-on-year, with in-store sales higher on the back of stronger footfall in its travel, beauty and flagship shops.

It highlighted that airport stores performed particularly well following recent refurbishments.

Meanwhile, digital sales grew by 13.8% for the period, as it benefited from investment into its Boots app, providing shoppers with personal offers.

Boots also reported stronger sales growth in its pharmacy arm, which reported a 5.8% rise amid increased take up for its healthcare services.

Travel and vaccination services saw high demand ahead of the summer holiday, the company said.

Sebastian James, Boots UK and Republic of Ireland chief executive officer, said: “This is another set of consistently strong results for Boots.

“I am pleased to see our positive momentum continue across the whole business, with both retail and healthcare increasing sales and a 13th consecutive quarter of market share growth.

“We continue to focus on making exciting new brands and services accessible, whilst focusing on value and rewarding loyalty.

It highlighted that airport stores performed particularly well following recent refurbishments (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)

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