Boots sales grow despite cold snap


Boots has reported robust sales growth for December

Health and beauty chain Boots overcame last month’s heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures to record robust like-for-like sales growth.

Boots reported a 3.8% rise in UK retail revenue including VAT on a same-store basis in December, driven by healthcare, fragrances and electrical beauty. The group added it had made market share gains in its core health and beauty categories.

Boots – part of the wider Alliance Boots group, which was taken private in 2007 – disclosed the sales numbers to staff in an update from chief executive Andy Hornby.

Mr Hornby said the UK performance was “particularly pleasing”, given the disruption caused by the adverse weather.

He said the group was set to deliver a strong financial performance in the current financial year and recorded a 14.3% increase in group revenues in the three months to December 31.

UK retail revenue for the quarter rose 2.8% on a like-for-like basis, while revenues in the Pharmaceutical Wholesale division grew by 24.4%, as the company expanded the division internationally.

In July, Alliance Boots became the majority shareholder in Hedef Alliance in Turkey, which also has operations in Egypt and an associate in Algeria, and in December it completed the acquisition of Anzag in Germany, which also operates in Lithuania and Romania and has an associate in Croatia.

Looking ahead, Mr Hornby said: “It is likely that the financial climate will remain challenging throughout 2011.

“This means that we will have to continue to work hard to meet our targets for the final quarter of our financial year ending March 31. I am confident that we will achieve these and report another year of strong profit growth in May.”

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