Takeover-target Shoppers Drug Mart beats forecasts by a penny

Shoppers Drug Mart on Queen st. at Peter st. in downtown Toronto. July 15, 2013. (Gloria Nieto/The Globe and Mail)

Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. saw second-quarter profit rise almost 6 per cent on continued growth in front-of-store and prescription sales.

The country’s largest drug-store chain – which is being taken over by supermarket giant Loblaw Cos. – reported net earnings of $147-million or 73 cents per share in the second quarter ended June 15, compared with $145-million or 69 cents in the same period last year.

EPS of 73 cents was one cent above analysts’ consensus estimate.

Sales in the second quarter reached $2.54-billion, a 3.3-per-cent increase over the same period last year.

Toronto-based Shoppers said it booked sales gains in all regions of the country in the second quarter. On a same-store basis, sales increased two per cent during the quarter, the company said.

Pharmacy sales were $1.21-billion, a 3.1-per-cent increase.

Strong growth in the number of retail prescriptions and sales gains in the MediSystem Technologies business were partially offset by a further reduction in average prescription value.

The company also declared a dividend of 28.5 cents per share payable on Oct. 15.

“We are pleased with our second quarter operating and financial results. Together with our zssociate-owners and their teams at store level, we continue to execute on our strategic priorities and growth initiatives which are driving sales and market share gains in our core health, beauty and convenience categories,” Shoppers president and chief executive officer Domenic Pilla said in a news release.

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