While Walgreens Boots Alliance congratulated itself on a job well done over fiscal 2018, with double digit sales growth, the market was less than impressed, according to a report published by Reuters, pointing to a disappointing performance by the company’s UK unit.
Overall, sales increased 10.9 percent to US$33.4 billion in the fourth quarter, bringing the yearly tally to US$131.5 billion, up 11.3 percent on 2017 figures, according to a press release issued by the company. Operating income grew 15. 4 percent over the year to US$6.4 billion and EPS rose 33.6 percent to US$5.05.
However, the group’s retail pharmacy international division saw revenue drop 1.9 percent in the final quarter to US$2.9 billion, a decrease of 2.7 percent on a constant currency basis, a loss attributed almost entirely to Boots’ poor performance where beauty is declining.
“We are pleased to have delivered double digit percentage growth in earnings per share while returning US$6.8 billion to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends in fiscal 2018,,” said CEO and Executive Vice Chairman, Stefano Pessina. “The integration of the acquired Rite Aid stores in on track, and our pharmacy market share in the US increased year-over-year on an annual basis. We are making progress on our partnership strategy both in the US an internationally, including our most recent announcements with LabCorp, Kroger and Alibaba, which will provide additional opportunities for future growth.”