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VOL. 126 | NO. 24 | Friday, February 04, 2011

Walgreen January Sales Rise, Top Key Measure

AP

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DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Drugstore operator Walgreen Co. said Thursday that its sales increased in January, topping a key sales measurement monitored by Wall Street.

The largest U.S. drugstore chain said sales at stores open at least a year climbed 6.1 percent for the month. At those stores, pharmacy revenue grew 6.9 percent. Meanwhile, revenue from sales of non-pharmacy items like cosmetics grew 4.5 percent.

Sales at stores open at least a year is a key gauge of a company's health because it leaves out results from stores that have opened, closed, or been acquired within the last year. Walgreen has expanded by 506 locations over the last 12 months, including the acquisition of the Duane Reade pharmacy chain. It also bought three stores in January, closed one and relocated three.

According to Thomson Reuters, analysts expected sales at stores open at least a year to grow 3.4 percent. On average, they estimated that pharmacy revenue at those stores would rise by 3.8 percent and non-pharmacy, or front-end, revenue would increase 2.8 percent.

The company said its total revenue rose 11.3 percent to $5.93 billion, up from $5.33 billion in January 2010. Walgreen said 2.8 percent of that growth came from Duane Reade stores. Walgreen bought the chain and its 258 New York City-area locations for $623 million last year. The company had 8,146 stores as of Jan. 31.

Walgreen, which is based in Deerfield, Ill., has provided more than 6 million flu shots for the season to date.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 67 156 11,921
MORTGAGES 77 227 15,577
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 15 57 3,080
BUILDING PERMITS 222 606 28,832
BANKRUPTCIES 82 210 11,517
BUSINESS LICENSES 23 73 4,228
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 87 339 17,522
MARRIAGE LICENSES 18 61 3,625

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