Boots, the UK-based chain owned by Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), has announced a significant increase in revenue despite a decline in overall sales for WBA in Q3. The decision by WBA to halt the sale of Boots earlier in the week generated anticipation among investors and industry experts, who were eager to see how the retail chain had performed.

Boots UK retail comparable sales saw a remarkable growth of 24%, as the company gained market share across all major categories. This growth was driven mainly by the beauty category, with efforts to enhance beauty offerings through the introduction of No7 Pro Derm Scan technology and personalized consultation services in over 400 Boots stores in April.

The overall results for WBA were not as impressive, with Q3 earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations dropping by 73.8% to $0.33. Quarterly sales from continuing operations also decreased by 4.2% year-on-year (or -2.8% currency-neutral) to $32.6 billion. Operating income from continuing operations transformed into a loss of $320 million, compared to a profit of $1.1 billion in the previous year.

CEO Rosalind Brewer acknowledged that the company was up against strong growth in the previous year. However, despite the challenges, WBA reported a 1.4% growth in US retail comparable sales and a 25% increase in US digital sales. The growth in digital sales was primarily driven by 2.8 million same-day pick-up orders.

Unfortunately, overall US sales declined by 7.1% to $26.7 billion, mainly due to a decrease in the AllianceRx Walgreens business. In terms of international sales, there was a 0.3% increase in Q3 sales, reaching $5.3 billion, although this was negatively impacted by a 9% adverse currency impact. Boots UK sales rose by 13.5%, and the German wholesale business experienced a growth of 6.8%.

Despite the challenges faced by WBA, Boots managed to outperform expectations and deliver impressive sales growth in the UK market. The company’s focus on expanding its beauty offerings and embracing digital advancements positions it for further success in the future.

Useful links:
1. Walgreens Boots Alliance
2. Boots UK