Walgreens Boots Alliance posts a 15 per cent slide in net earnings, sending its share price lower despite beating expectations

Billy Bambrough
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US pharmacy giant Walgreens bought UK retail chain Boots in 2014 (Source: Getty)

Walgreens Boots Alliance, the company that has controlled UK high street pharmacy chain Boots since 2014, has reported analyst estimate beating results but has failed to stop a share sell off.

Shares were down by over three per cent in New York following the results announcement.

For the third quarter the company reported earnings per share of $1.18, $0.04 better than average analyst estimates of $1.14.

Revenue came in a little under expectations at $29.5bn, versus the consensus estimate of $29.71bn.

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The company's core market, its US retail pharmacy chain, brought in sales of $21.2bn, an increase of 3.7 percent over year-ago quarter.

The international arm, which includes the UK operations, brought in total sales of $3.2bn, a decrease of 2.3 per cent over the year-ago quarter due to currency translation, with total sales increasing by 3.4 per cent on a constant currency basis.

Boots' UK boss Simon Roberts is quitting the company this month to "pursue new opportunities".

Roberts, who is also executive vice-president of Walgreens Boots Alliance, said last month that the pharmacy chain now needs a "new leader to take the business forward".

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Earlier this year it was announced that Boots would cut between 300 and 350 managerial roles from its UK stores as part of a wider move to simplify the business.

The company raised lower end of guidance for the current fiscal year by 10 cents per share.

Executive vice chairman and chief executive Stefano Pessina said:

We delivered solid results in the quarter while continuing to make progress in several key areas, including our work to develop long-term strategic relationships and pursue partnership opportunities.

I'm pleased to report that since the quarter end we achieved our goal set four years ago of at least $1bn in combined net synergies in fiscal year 2016 related to the strategic combination with Alliance Boots.

This provides us with a strong platform to further enhance operating performance, to meet the challenges of the current volatility in many of our markets and to better position our company for long-term success.

Pessina was one of a raft of company bosses to warn against a Brexit vote in the lead up to last months European Union referendum.

Walgreens Boots Alliance is continuing its integration of Rite Aid and expects the transaction to close in the second half of 2016.

The proposed acquisition of Rite Aid was announced in October 2015.

The company said the deal hasn't had any impact on on guidance from proposed acquisition of Rite Aid.

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