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Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA)

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Walgreens looks at shuttering Boots shops in UK

03 Apr 19

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - Walgreens Boots Alliance warned on Wednesday that it was looking at closing Boots stores across the UK after suffering its "most difficult quarter" since its flotation.
The US behemoth, which employs around 56,000 people across the UK, said it would take "decisive steps" to reduce costs as part of a "significant restructuring" programme.

Management said it will undertake a portfolio review of its 2,485 Boots storefronts in Britain after UK like-for-like sales slid 2.3% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2019.

However, Boots UK state there were no immediate plans for major reductions, stating that it had successfully held on to its market share during the recently wrapped up quarter.

"We currently do not have a major programme envisaged, but as you'd expect, we always review underperforming stores and seek out opportunities for consolidation," said Boots UK.

Walgreens Boots Alliance, which was formed in 2014 after Walgreens acquired the last 55% of UK and Switzerland-based outfit Boots Alliance, has suffered recently as a result of a tough High Street trading environment.

Boots revealed back in February that as many as 350 jobs were at risk at its Nottingham head office as a result of plans to reduce costs by 20%.

The group fell short of expectations on Tuesday as its quarterly earnings and revenue missed analysts' expectations.

Walgreens, which lowered its full-year forecasts following its "most difficult" quarter in nearly five years, saw net income drop 14% to $1.16bn, or $1.24 per share. On an adjusted basis, Walgreens earned $1.64 per share, well below the $1.72bn expected on the street. Net sales rose 4.6% to $34.53bn, also below expectations of $34.56bn.

The company now expects full-year earnings to be broadly flat, compared to the group's previous forecast for growth of between 7% to 12%.

As of 1315 BST, Walgreens Boots shares had inched forward 0.29% in pre-market trading to $55.52 each after losing 12.81% in the previous session.

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Market Data

Currency US Dollars
52 Week High $74.43
52 Week Low $49.29
Shares Issued 895.39m
Market Cap $47,832m


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