Thursday 14 October 2021 1:21 pm

Boots sales buoyed by Covid-19 test demand

Sales hit £34bn at Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), the combined group of pharmacy chains Walgreens and Boots, in its last quarter.

Boots UK pharmacy sales lifted 11.4 per cent in the three months to 31 August, compared with the same period last year, signalling strong demand for pharmacy services, notably Covid-19 tests. While retail sales jumped 15 per cent.

High street footfall recovered as lockdown measures were eased, although they remain below pre-pandemic levels, according to WBA.

CEO Roz Brewer said: “Our fourth quarter and fiscal year results exceeded expectations, driven by strong performance in our core business. Comparable US pharmacy and retail sales both saw robust growth and recovery continued in our UK business as Covid-19 restrictions eased in the quarter.”

The group also used its sites to offer Covid-19 vaccinations in the UK and across the pond, which exceeded its goal and saw 13.5m jabs delivered.

Net cash grew by some $70m to $5.6bn for the combined group, while free cash flow came in at $4.2bn. WBA also saw earnings per share jump 6.4 per cent in the period.