Walgreens profit falls in Q3 despite hike in US sales

Despite reporting an increase in U.S. retail and prescription drug sales, Walgreens' profit fell in the third quarter of 2019, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The drugstore chain said sales rose 0.7 percent to $34.6 billion, primarily driven by improved retail sales and growth in the number of prescriptions filled in the U.S. in the most-recent quarter.

For the third quarter ended May 31, Walgreen's reported net income of $1.03 billion, down 12.1 percent from the $1.34 billion the same period a year earlier.

The drop in profit was attributed to lower pharmacy margins and weakness in the U.K. drugstore business.

But Walgreens did beat analysts' estimates in the third quarter. 

"After what was a very disappointing second quarter for us, it is pleasing  to be able to report that this quarter has been brought in line with our expectations,” Walgreens CEO Stefano Pessina said on a call with analysts, according to CNBC. "That said, the pressures we have seen for some time continue to impact our businesses, and we still have a lot to do to develop the transformation and data to get ahead of the market trends again and return our company to strong and consistent growth."

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