// Boots sales dropped 2.2% in first half of financial year
// Adjusted operating income dropped 29.1%
Boots has seen its profits slump during the first half of its financial year as the coronavirus outbreak took a toll on its trading.
The health and beauty retailer’s adjusted operating income dropped by 29.1 per cent to $276 million (£220.34 million) while sales dropped 2.2 per cent to $5.8 billion (£4.63 billion).
Parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance said the drop was due to the impact of bonus payments and its investments in technology.
- Coronavirus: When will retail return to normal?
- Boots to roll out Covid-19 tests for NHS staff
- Big Interview: Helen Normoyle, Marketing Director, Boots
The US-based company added that the ongoing coronavirus crisis was “proactively deferring certain activities”, including the rollout of new beauty halls in Boots’ UK stores.
It has already revamped 26 stores with its new beauty format and introduced nine new beauty brands during its second quarter.
Meanwhile, adjusted operating income across the wider Walgreens Boots Alliance group fell 13.6 per cent on a constant currency basis to $3.16 billion (£2.52 billion) and sales rose 3.2 per cent to $70.16 billion (£56.01 billion).
The company said it was “on track” to meet market expectations before the coronavirus pandemic escalated.
Consequently, it scrapped full-year guidance after warning of the “uncertain” impact of the pandemic.
“Although the Covid-19 situation is ultimately temporary, given the many rapidly changing variables related to the pandemic, at this time WBA is not in a position to accurately forecast the future impacts,” Walgreens Boots Alliance said.
“The company will continue to closely assess and manage this situation, and will provide further updates in the next earnings report when both the potential positive and negative effects of the pandemic will be known in more detail.”
Chief executive Stefano Pessina said: “We are pleased to report second-quarter results exceeding our expectations, with sequential improvement in comparable US prescription volume and retail sales.”
“During these unprecedented times of global uncertainty, WBA is on the front lines of combating the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Our number-one priority is to continue to provide essential services, products and information at this critical moment of need, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to our customers and patients, and to our people.”