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Walgreens 4Q earnings up 11.7%


DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens reported that net earnings for the quarter ended Aug. 31 increased 11.7% to $443 million or 45 cents per share (diluted), including the benefit of a vacation accrual adjustment of $79 million. That compares to $397 million or 40 cents per share (diluted) in the same quarter a year ago. Fiscal year net earnings increased 5.7% to $2.16 billion versus last year’s $2.04 billion. Net earnings per share for fiscal 2008 increased 6.9% to $2.17 per share (diluted) versus $2.03 per share (diluted) the previous year.

We continue to build strong sales and profits, despite the challenging economy, said Walgreens chairman and ceo Jeffrey Rein. Millions of loyal customers are responding every day to our core offerings of overall value and convenience. In fact, we recorded share growth in 58 of our top 60 product categories compared to food, drug and mass merchandise competitors as measured by A.C. Nielsen. 

Sales increased 8.8% to $14.6 billion for the fourth quarter and 9.8% to $59 billion for the year. Total sales in comparable-stores were up 2.6% in the quarter.

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