Boots the pharmacy has seen a decline in prescription numbers causing a slump in sales and profits on the back of a decline for the UK high street retailers.
The UK’s parent business Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) experience an international sales slip and in the three months to 30 November, the retail arm saw a like-for-like sales increase by 0.6%, on the back of increased reimbursements from the NHS and increased sales of the service.
A weak performance from Boots UK saw sales slip by 3% for like-for-like retail sales. Lower sales and profit margins in the UK saw a 6.3% slump in gross profit.
Total sales for WBA increased by 1.6% to $34.3bn in the recent quarter, and from July Boots has confirmed 200 store closures over the next 18 months.
Stefano Pessina, executive vice chairman and chief executive officer of WBA said, “We are maintaining our outlook for the year despite a soft first quarter.
“We are confident our strategic plans are the right ones to drive long-term sustainable growth going forward.
“In addition, during the quarter we were very satisfied with the progress made in our transformational cost management programme and with the strong cash flow we delivered.”