Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (Nasdaq: WAG) had March sales of $6.43 billion, an increase of 4.5 percent from $6.16 billion for the same month in fiscal 2013.
With Easter falling on April 20 this year compared with March 31 last year, total front-end sales decreased 2.6 percent in March compared with the same month in fiscal 2013, while comparable store front-end sales decreased 3.4 percent. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 4.0 percent while basket size increased 0.6 percent. Walgreens will report combined comparable store sales for March and April with its April sales results.
Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased by 5.1 percent in March and increased 4.2 percent on a calendar day-shift adjusted basis. March 2014 had one additional Monday and one fewer Friday compared with March 2013. These calendar shifts positively impacted prescriptions filled at comparable stores by 0.9 percentage point. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores were negatively impacted by 0.3 percentage point due to the lower incidence of flu in March 2014.
March pharmacy sales increased by 8.9 percent. Comparable store pharmacy sales increased 8.0 percent and increased by a calendar day-shift adjusted 7.1 percent. Calendar day shifts positively impacted pharmacy sales in comparable stores by 0.9 percentage point. Calendar day-shift adjusted comparable store pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 1.6 percentage points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months, and were negatively impacted by 0.4 percentage point due to a lower incidence of flu. Pharmacy sales accounted for 64.7 percent of total sales for the month.
Sales in comparable stores increased by 3.5 percent in March. Calendar day shifts positively impacted total comparable sales by 0.6 percent. Generic drug introductions in the last 12 months negatively impacted total comparable sales by 1.0 percentage point, while the lower incidence of flu negatively impacted total comparable sales by 0.2 percentage point.
Calendar 2014 sales were $18.86 billion, an increase of 4.3 percent from $18.09 billion in 2013.
Fiscal 2014 year-to-date sales for the first seven months were $44.39 billion, an increase of 5.4 percent from $42.12 billion in fiscal 2013.
Walgreens opened 13 stores during March, including three relocations, acquired three and closed one.
On March 31, Walgreens operated 8,688 locations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. That includes 8,221 drugstores, 144 more than a year ago, including 63 net stores acquired over the last 12 months. The company also operates infusion and respiratory services facilities, specialty pharmacies and mail service facilities. Its Take Care Health Systems subsidiary manages more than 750 in-store convenient care clinics and worksite health and wellness centers.