Walgreens 4th-quarter sales at retail pharmacies up 3.6%

Walgreens Boots Alliance shared its financial results for the fiscal year and fourth quarter that ended Aug. 31, reporting earnings that were higher than its expectations and predicting single-digit profit growth in 2021.

The company's sales increased 2 percent to $139.5 billion. During 2020's fourth quarter, same-store sales at its retail pharmacy locations in the U.S. rose 3.6 percent compared to 2019's fourth quarter.

"I am pleased to report results that came in at the high end of our expectations as we continue to adapt and transform our business model to changing customer needs," Walgreens Boots Alliance's CEO, Stefano Pessina, said in the report. "Despite uncertainty amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing gradual improvement in key U.S. and U.K. markets and continued strong performance in our wholesale business. I'm also encouraged by the accelerating growth in our e-commerce platforms."

In the report, the company said it expects profit to grow in single digits in 2021.

Next year, the company said it will focus on furthering omnichannel capabilities, leveraging its partnership with VillageMD, strengthening its cost management program and opening 500 to 700 full-service doctor offices in the next five years.

Walgreens Boots Alliance also said it is working to scale up COVID-19 testing for businesses and prepare for COVID-19 vaccinations.

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