Boots Opticians sales slide as group profits soar

Like-for-like sales at Boots in the year to 31 March rose just 0.5% to £6.4bn, while like-for-like sales at Boots Opticians fell 2.4% to £329m, but profits jumped 38% to £673m.

Boots: pre-tax profits surge 38%
Boots: pre-tax profits surge 38%

Switzerland-based Alliance Boots, which owns the Boots and Boots Opticians brands in the UK, saw overall sales surge by 10.6% to £23.3bn, driven by a 23.6% increase in sales at its pharmaceutical wholesale division.

Pre-tax profits for the group increased by 38% to £673m.

Stefano Pessina, executive chairman of Alliance Boots, said: "Alliance Boots continues to perform strongly, delivering a double digit growth in trading profit through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions, while at the same time reducing net borrowings.

"Looking to the year ahead, we are planning for consumer demand to be subdued and expect governments to continue to seek ways to contain growth in healthcare expenditure. In spite of this, we are confident about our future prospects both in the short and longer term.

Boots chief executive Andy Hornby resigned in March.

The company launched a new campaign last month, created by Mother, to take advantage of families heading into the garden for the extended Easter breaks.

Rival Superdrug is to launch a loyalty card to compete with Boots' Advantage offering, which allows  customers to redeem points with brands such as Asos, Apple, Thomas Cook and the RAC.

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