Boots gets shot in arm from Irish website
Chemist chain Boots said its business in Ireland performed strongly in its last financial period, boosted by its online sales and new store openings.
Revenue in the 17-month period to August 2015 hit €453.2m, while its operating profit was €24.3m. It also paid a €31m dividend to its parent.
Boots is owned by Walgreens Boots Alliance and its financial year end was changed last year to align it with the rest of the units in the group. In the previous 12-month period, to March 31, 2014, it had generated turnover of €288.4m, and an operating profit of €20m.
Boots said that its performance in the latest 17-month period was also helped by additional store openings, and "good retail growth". It added that its performance was partially offset by lower dispensing reimbursement rates.
The chain opened five stores in Ireland during the last financial period, and closed one. Boots has almost 100 stores here and employs over 1,600 people. It added that its customer loyalty programme remains a "key element" of its offering. Directors at the firm added that Boots' commercial skills and ability to respond flexibly to changing consumer demand is "highly developed".
"Its strategy remains to continue to enhance its market leading position in pharmacy-led health and beauty retailing in the Republic of Ireland, backed by differentiated brands and expert customer service," the directors noted.
The company also closed its Irish defined benefit pension scheme last year.
Irishman Ken Murphy is one of the key executives at Walgreens Boots Alliance, which last year recorded net sales of $103.4bn in the 12 months to the end of last August, and operating income of $4.6bn.
Mr Murphy studied at University College Cork, before going on to qualify as an accountant. He has worked for Boots for over a decade.
Earlier this month, Walgreens Boots Alliance said that Mr Murphy has been appointed an executive vice president and chief commercial officer, and president of global brands.
He now reports to Ornella Barra, who was appointed as co-chief operating officer, and also president and chief executive of global wholesale and international retail.
Chief executive Stefano Pessina said the changes would enable him to concentrate more on driving the group's growth strategy and developing the business. Walgreens Boots Alliance was created in 2014 with the merger of Walgreens and Alliance Boots.