Walgreens Reports Stronger Profit as Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout Ramps Up
By Micah Maidenberg
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. reported a stronger profit for its
latest quarter, a performance that comes as it looks to make itself
a cornerstone in the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines under new
Chief Executive Rosalind Brewer.
The company said Wednesday it has administered more than eight
million vaccines to date, including four million in March.
Executives for the company have previously said the chain has the
capacity to handle shots for tens of millions of Americans.
Walgreens is also offering shots through its Boots UK division.
Vaccinations have been ramping up around the country, with
states expanding eligibility to more adults. Rivals including CVS
Health Corp., as well as supermarket chain Kroger Co. and Walmart
Inc., are also pushing to get consumers to visit their locations to
"Our team will move swiftly and decisively to best serve the
needs of our patients, customers and communities around the world,
at this critical time and beyond," said Ms. Brewer, who took the
helm at Walgreens earlier in March.
Walgreens on Wednesday reported $32.8 billion in sales from
continuing operations for its quarter that ended Feb. 28, up almost
5% from the year-earlier period.
Comparable sales in the U.S. were up 2%, including a 4.5% gain
in pharmacy items. Demand for other retail products was lower, amid
a weaker cough, cold and flu season, the company said.
Profit rose to $1.03 billion, or $1.19 a share, from $946
million, or $1.07 a share, for the year-earlier period. After
adjustments, Walgreens reported earnings of $1.40 a share, ahead of
what analysts expected for that metric.
In January, the company said it had hired Ms. Brewer to serve as
CEO. She took over the top role from Stefano Pessina, who now is
executive chairman of its board. Ms. Brewer is a former CEO of
Sam's Club and chief operating officer at Starbucks Corp.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 31, 2021 08:37 ET (12:37 GMT)
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