Follow us

Boots UK owner WBA sees sales drop in Q1

Sophie Smith
05 January 2023

Walgreens Boots Alliance has released its financial results for the first quarter ending 30 November 2023, revealing a 1.5% decrease in sales to £27.8 billion ($33.4 billion). Sales rose 1.1% on a constant currency basis.

The company reported a net loss of $3.7 billion, compared to a net income of $3.6 billion in the same quarter last year.

Net cash provided by operating activities totalled $493 million, with operating cash flow negatively impacted by increased inventory build for the US and UK holiday season.

The international segment reported a 10.8% drop in sales to £4.3 billion ($5.2 billion). However, sales increased 4.6% on a constant currency basis, with Boots UK sales growing 4.3% in the first quarter.

Gross profit decreased 13%, but increased 2.1% on a constant currency basis. This reflects higher UK retail sales growth, partially offset by lower demand for COVID-19 related services in the UK and the gross margin impact of NHS pharmacy funding.

Boots UK retail sales increased 8.7%, whilst pharmacy sales decreased 0.9%. This was attributed to a lower demand for COVID-19 services compared to same quarter last year.

Online sales at Boots UK accounted for 18% of total retail sales in Q1, compared to 9% pre-pandemic. In November 2022, reached almost 23% of total sales, including the retailer's "biggest ever" single day of digital sales on Black Friday.

Looking ahead, WBA has raised its full-year sales guidance to £111.1-114.5 billion ($133.5-$137.5 billion), reflecting acquisitions, refreshed currency rates and first quarter sales ahead of expectations.

Rosalind Brewer, CEO of WBA, said: "WBA delivered a solid start to the fiscal year, as we continue to accelerate our transformation to a consumer-centric healthcare company.

"Our core retail pharmacy businesses in both the US and UK remain resilient in challenging operating environments. Execution across segments reinforces our confidence in achieving full-year guidance, and our strategic actions are creating long-term shareholder value."

Free NewsletterVISIT