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Walgreens Dec. sales up 7.8%


DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens today reported December sales of $5.5 billion, an increase of 7.8% from $5.1 for the same month in 2006. Sales in comparable stores rose 2.6%.

December pharmacy sales increased 8.4%, while comparable-pharmacy sales increased 3.3%. Comparable pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 4.4 percentage points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months. Total prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased 1.4%. Pharmacy sales accounted for 57.3% of total sales for the month.


Comparable store front-end sales increased 1.7% during December.


According to the company, gift cards and consumables were among the categories that performed well in December. The company also saw strong sales of private-brand products as customers looked for value. Meanwhile, December sales were hurt by weakness in seasonal categories, the withdrawal from the market and cautions on the use of cough and cold products for children 6 and under, and aggressive pricing on digital photo prints.

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