Boots, the multinational health and beauty retailer owned by Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), has experienced a remarkable rebound as its parent company reports impressive Q4 results. WBA stated that the results “exceeded expectations” and showcased a strong operational performance.

In Q4, Boots saw sales from continuing operations increase by 12.8% compared to the previous year, amounting to $34.3 billion. On a constant currency basis, sales were up 11.8%. The positive momentum continued throughout the fiscal year, with sales from continuing operations in fiscal 2021 rising by 8.6% to $132.5 billion, or 7.5% on a constant currency basis.

Operating income from continuing operations in Q4 soared by an astounding 49.7% to $910 million. Adjusted operating income also witnessed significant growth, rising by 22.9% to $1.2 billion. Net earnings from continuing operations in the quarter reached $358 million, marking a 6.4% increase compared to the same period last year. This growth was primarily driven by increased operating income in both segments, although it was partially offset by higher tax provisions.

Roz Brewer, CEO of WBA, emphasized the impressive growth of comparable US pharmacy and retail sales, as well as the continued recovery of its UK business as Covid-19 restrictions eased during the quarter. A major highlight for the company during the final quarter was the expansion of the beauty sector in the UK, where Boots achieved record-high market share for premium make-up and skincare. This success was supported by the company’s largest marketing campaign to date.

The International segment of WBA experienced significant growth in Q4, with sales reaching $5.5 billion, reflecting a remarkable 61.8% increase. On a constant currency basis, sales were up by 52.6%, largely driven by higher sales associated with the formation of the company’s wholesale joint venture in Germany. Excluding this factor, International segment sales increased by 9.3% on a constant currency basis.

In the UK, Boots witnessed a 15% increase in comparable retail sales compared to the same quarter last year as footfall on the high street recovered following the easing of lockdown measures. Despite the recovery, footfall still remains below pre-Covid levels. Alongside retail sales, Boots also operates the Mothercare license and sells beauty products. Its online platform, Boots.com, which is one of the largest beauty e-tailers in the UK, continued to surpass expectations. Digital sales in Q4 more than doubled compared to pre-Covid levels.

Overall, the strong performance of WBA and its subsidiary Boots showcases the resilience of the retail sector as it rebounds from the impact of the pandemic. With robust growth in sales and operational income, the company is well-positioned to continue its upward trajectory in the health and beauty market.

Useful Links:
1. Boots Official Website
2. Walgreens Boots Alliance Official Website