Walgreens and Rite Aid report rise in December same-store sales

New York City -- Walgreen Co. said Thursday that its same-store sales increased 0.4 percent in December, beating analysts' estimates for a decline of 0.1%.

Front-end sales were up 0.6%. Same-store pharmacy sales, which make up nearly 60% of total sales, rose 0.2%. Walgreen said those sales were hurt by more launches of generic drugs, as well as a milder season for coughs, colds and the flu.

Rite Aid Corp. said Thursday its December same-store sales rose 3.6%, boosted by higher pharmacy sales.

For the five weeks ended Dec. 31, same-store pharmacy increased 5.2% and front-end sales edged up 0.7%.