WWD.com/beauty-industry-news/financial/boots-profits-sales-rise-2139096/

LONDON — Health and beauty retailer and pharmaceuticals wholesaler Alliance Boots on Monday reported net profits for the year ended March 31 of 101 million British pounds, or $173.9 million at average exchange, up from 10 million pounds, or $17.2 million a year ago.

This story first appeared in the May 19, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Trading profits, which the firm defines as profit from operations before exceptional items, amortization of customer relationships and brands, and share of post-tax earnings of associates and joint ventures, rose 11.6 percent to 953 million pounds, or $1.64 billion. The privately owned company, which owns the Boots pharmacy chain, said revenues grew 15.5 percent on-year to 20.5 billion pounds, or $35.29 billion.

Alliance Boots’ health-and-beauty division, which incorporates retail sales of prescription and over-the-counter drugs through its pharmacies as well as beauty products, reported revenues that were up by 4.4 percent to 7.15 billion pounds, or $12.31 billion. In the U.K., beauty and toiletries sales hit 2.06 billion pounds, or $3.54 billion, an increase of 0.4 percent over the prior year.

“Growth in toiletries [was] partially offset by lower sales of cosmetics and fragrances,” the company stated. “No. 7, our cosmetics and skin care brand, maintained its market-leading position in the U.K.”

Alliance Boots said in January it generated a pretax cost savings target set at the time of Alliance UniChem and Boots Group’s merger of 100 million pounds, or $172.2 million, 18 months ahead of schedule. “We are fully committed to the development and growth of Alliance Boots and believe that we are on track to become the world’s leading pharmacy-led health and beauty group,” stated Stefano Pessina, Alliance Boots’ executive chairman.