LONDON — Alliance Boots’ health-and-beauty division, which includes the Boots chain, registered a 6.1 percent third-quarter sales uptick.

This story first appeared in the January 20, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Without breaking out figures, Andy Hornby, group chief executive officer of the privately owned company, said in a letter to employees Friday that overall the group “performed strongly.” In the three-month period ended Dec. 31, Boots U.K. retail revenues spiked by 5.1 percent, or 4.6 percent on a like-for-like basis. The company highlighted strong sales of its private-label No7 brand, as well as fragrances, electrical beauty aids and bath products. The Boots chain’s holiday offer, including No7 Protect & Perfect and Soap & Glory gift sets, were also a hit with customers, he stated.

Alliance Boots’ pharmaceutical wholesale division registered a 12.7 percent increase in the quarter, while the group as a whole grew its revenues by 10.2 percent.

“The group’s financial position remains strong, reflecting a continuing focus on profit generation and working capital management and the benefits of low interest rates,” stated Hornby in the letter. “It is likely that the economic and financial climate will make 2010 another tough year. This means that we will have to continue to work hard to meet our targets for the final quarter of our financial year ending [March 31], 2010. I am confident that we will achieve these and report another year of strong profit growth in May.”

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