AP News

Rite Aid August sales reading ticks higher

CAMP HILL, Pa. (AP) — Drugstore operator Rite Aid Corp. said Wednesday that its sales improved in August on greater sales of non-pharmacy items like food, magazines, and cosmetics.

Rite Aid said its revenue from stores open at least a year rose 0.4 percent. Sales at stores open at least a year is considered an important measurement of retailer performance because it excludes results from stores that opened or closed in the last year.

Rite Aid said pharmacy revenue at those stores fell 0.6 percent in August, and "front-end" sales of food and other items rose 2.4 percent. The company said prescriptions increased 4.5 percent at those stores.

The company has closed 54 stores over the last year, giving it 4,643 locations as of Sept. 1. Rite Aid is the third-largest U.S. drugstore chain behind Walgreen Co. and CVS Caremark Corp., which both run more than 7,000 stores each.

Total revenue over the five weeks ended Sept. 1 fell 0.4 percent to $2.41 billion.

August also marked the end of Rite Aid's fiscal second quarter. The company said its total revenue fell 0.7 percent during the period, to $6.21 billion from $6.25 billion. Sales at stores open at least a year were unchanged for the three-month period as pharmacy revenue fell 0.7 percent and front-end revenue rose 1.4 percent.

Analysts expected Rite Aid to report $6.25 billion in revenue for the quarter, according to a survey by FactSet.

Shares of Rite Aid added 1 cent to $1.22 in morning trading. The stock has traded between 85 cents and $2.12 over the past year.

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