Shoppers Drug Mart reports Q2 sales lift

TORONTO — Canadian retailer Shoppers Drug Mart posted a boost in second-quarter sales, thanks in large part to continued strength and sales growth in over-the-counter medications, cosmetics, and food and confection, the company announced on Thursday.

Second-quarter sales were C$2.39 billion (U.S. $2.52 billion), an increase of 1.4%, compared with the year-ago period. On a same-store basis, total sales increased 0.8% during the quarter.

Front-end sales were C$1.24 billion in the second quarter, an increase of 3.8%, compared with the same period last year, led by continued strength and sales growth in OTC medications, cosmetics, and food and confection. On a same-store basis, front-end sales rose 2.4% during the quarter.

Prescription sales were C$1.15 billion, a decrease of 1%, compared with the same period last year, as continued growth in the number of prescriptions filled was offset by a reduction in average prescription value. On a same-store basis, prescription sales decreased 0.8% during the quarter.

Net earnings were C$148 million, or 68 cents per diluted share, compared with net earnings of C$146 million, or 67 cents per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2010.

"As we continue to work through a difficult year of transition in response to government reform initiatives and the resultant funding and reimbursement pressures this has placed on our pharmacy business, we are encouraged by our performance in the second quarter and our results thus far in fiscal 2011," Shoppers Drug Mart director and interim president and CEO David Williams said.

"We continue to make the necessary adjustments to our business model without compromising on our commitment to deliver the best in patient care and customer service," Williams added. "Our ability to deliver growth in the context of this environment speaks to the dedication and commitment of our associate-owners and their teams at store level whose efforts, along with those of our central and regional office employees, have us well-positioned entering the second half of the year."