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Rite Aid Reports Q3 Gains But Front End Sales Slip

For the fiscal third quarter ended November 30, Rite Aid Corp. posted net income of $71.5 million, or four cents per diluted share, versus $61.9 million, or seven cents per diluted share, in the year-earlier period. According to the company, comparable store sales for the quarter increased 2.3% over the prior-year period.

Rite Aid profit matched a Thomson Reuter’s average analyst estimate.

The total comp figure resulted from a 3.5% increase in pharmacy sales partially offset by a 0.2% decrease in front end sales, which include general merchandise such as home furnishings and housewares.

The company reported total revenues of $6.36 billion versus $6.24 billion in last year’s third quarter.

“Our solid third quarter results were driven by the continued success of our key wellness initiatives, specifically the strong start to our flu immunization campaign and the completion of additional Wellness stores, which now represent nearly a quarter of all Rite Aid stores,” said Rite Aid chairman and CEO John Standley, in remarks on the announcement.  “Our team of dedicated Rite Aid associates worked together to execute our strategy and deliver growth in same-store prescription counts, increased same-store sales and net income of more than $71 million. These results reflect our continued progress in building our unique brand of health, wellness and customer engagement.”  

In the third quarter, Rite Aid relocated four units and remodeled 94, bringing the total number of Wellness stores chain wide to 1,117 at third quarter’s end.