Walgreen’s July sales rise but miss expectations

Deerfield, Ill. Walgreen Co. said Wednesday its revenue grew in July, but results fell short of Wall Street estimates. The chain’s total sales were boosted by the acquisition in April of the Duane Reade chain.

Walgreen’s same-store sales rose 0.4%, while total sales grew 6.2% to $5.58 billion in July. Almost half that growth came from the Duane Reade purchase. Total pharmacy revenue rose 4.3%, and front-end sales rose 9.4%.

Walgreen opened 11 stores and closed eight in July. At the end of the month it ran 7,545 drug stores nationwide. Including the Duane Reade locations it has acquired 602 stores over the last year.

July is the second month of the company's fiscal fourth quarter, which ends in August.

Walgreen said Tuesday that it will offer flu shot gift cards at its stores. The gift cards cost $29.99 and can be filled at Walgreen pharmacies or Take Care retail clinics once they receive the vaccine.