DEERFIELD, Ill., Jan. 6, 2014 - Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (Nasdaq: WAG) had December sales of $7.20 billion, an increase of 7.2 percent from $6.72 billion for the same month in fiscal 2013.
Total front-end sales increased 4.0 percent compared with the same month in fiscal 2013, while comparable store front-end sales increased 2.5 percent. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 1.3 percent while basket size increased 3.8 percent.
Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased by 5.3 percent in December and increased 2.4 percent on a calendar day-shift adjusted basis. December 2013 had one additional Tuesday and one fewer Saturday compared with December 2012. These calendar shifts positively impacted prescriptions filled at comparable stores by 2.9 percentage points.
Prescriptions filled at comparable stores were negatively impacted by 0.4 percentage point due to fewer flu shots in the month versus last year and were negatively impacted by 0.8 percentage point due to the lower incidence of flu in December 2013.
December pharmacy sales increased by 10.2 percent, while comparable store pharmacy sales increased 9.0 percent and increased by a calendar day-shift adjusted 6.1 percent. Calendar day shifts positively impacted pharmacy sales in comparable stores by 2.9 percentage points. Calendar day-shift adjusted comparable store pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 1.2 percentage points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months, and were negatively impacted by 0.2 percentage point due to fewer flu shots in December versus last year. The lower incidence of flu negatively impacted pharmacy sales by 0.4 percentage point. Pharmacy sales accounted for 58.3 percent of total sales for the month.
Flu shots administered at pharmacies and clinics season to date were more than 6.7 million versus nearly 5.5 million last year.
Sales in comparable stores increased by 6.1 percent in December. Calendar day shifts positively impacted total comparable sales by 1.7 percentage points, while generic drug introductions in the last 12 months negatively impacted total comparable sales by 0.7 percentage point.
Calendar 2013 sales were $73.72 billion, an increase of 4.5 percent from $70.52 billion in 2012.
Fiscal 2014 year-to-date sales for the first four months were $25.54 billion, up 6.3 percent from $24.03 billion in the comparable period in fiscal 2013.
Walgreens opened five stores during December, including one relocation, acquired three stores and closed six.
On Dec. 31, Walgreens operated 8,674 locations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. That includes 8,200 drugstores, 139 more than a year ago, including 62 net stores acquired over the last 12 months. The company also operates infusion and respiratory services facilities, specialty pharmacies and mail service facilities. Its Take Care Health Systems subsidiary manages more than 750 in-store convenient care clinics and worksite health and wellness centers.
Please note: Sales numbers and the adjustments shown in the table are preliminary, unaudited and subject to revision. Comparable stores are defined as those drugstore locations open for at least 12 consecutive months without closure for seven or more consecutive days and without a major remodel or a natural disaster in the past 12 months. Acquired operating locations and relocations are not included as comparable stores for the first 12 months after the acquisition or relocation.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements: Statements in this release that are not historical are forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "expect," "likely," "outlook," "forecast," "would," "could," "should," "can," "will," "project," "intend," "plan," "goal," "target," "continue," "sustain," "synergy," "on track," "believe," "seek," "estimate," "anticipate," "may," "possible," "assume," and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, assumptions and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, those described in Item 1A (Risk Factors) of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, which is incorporated herein by reference, and in other documents that we file or furnish with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those indicated or anticipated by such forward-looking statements. Accordingly, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Except to the extent required by law, Walgreens does not undertake, and expressly disclaims, any duty or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statement after the date of this release, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptions or otherwise.