Walgreens' monthly sales rise

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens had February sales of $5.31 billion, an increase of 3.2% from $5.14 billion for the same month in 2009.

The drug store chain also reported that its same-store sales increased 0.4%.

February pharmacy sales increased 3.7%, while comparable pharmacy sales increased 0.9%. Comparable pharmacy sales were negatively affected by 2.4 percentage points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months and a lower incidence of flu compared with February 2009. Pharmacy sales accounted for 64.5% of total sales for the month.

Total front-end sales increased 4.5% in February, while comparable store front-end sales decreased 0.6%, which the company said were impacted by continued weak demand for discretionary items and by lower incidence of flu.

Year-to-date sales for fiscal 2010 for the first six months totaled $33.34 billion, up 6.1% from the same period last year.

In the month of February, the chain opened seven stores, acquired 11 and closed one. At Feb. 28, Walgreens operated 7,679 locations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.