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Rite Aid Front-End Sales Lift Quarter

For the fiscal first quarter ended June 1, Rite Aid Corp. posted net income of $89.7 million, or nine cents per diluted share, versus a net loss of $28.1 million, or three cents per diluted share, in the year-prior period. Comparable store sales for the quarter decreased 2.5% from the year-earlier period as pharmacy sales slipped 3.8% even as front-end sales, including general merchandise such as home goods, enjoyed a 0.4% increase.

Earnings per diluted share matched a published consensus analyst estimate.

First quarter revenues slipped to $6.3 billion from $6.5 billion year over year, a result that Rite Aid blamed on a shift to generics in some pharmacy lines. Pharmacy sales included a 458 basis point negative impact due to new generic introductions, the retailer stated.

“We kicked off our new fiscal year by posting strong first quarter results that reflect our continued operational and financial progress,” said Rite Aid chairman, president and CEO John Standley. “During the quarter, we generated net income for a third consecutive quarter and increased adjusted EBITDA by more than $70 million over last year’s first quarter. At the same time, our team’s success in executing key initiatives like our wellness+ customer loyalty program, wellness store remodeling initiative and expanded pharmacy service offerings continue to drive our progress in transforming Rite Aid stores into true neighborhood destinations for health and wellness.”