Key Rite Aid revenue metric grows in April

Key revenue metric for drugstore chain Rite Aid grows 2.9 percent in April

Associated Press

CAMP HILL, Pa. (AP) -- Drugstore operator Rite Aid Corp. said Thursday that revenue from its established stores increased 2.9 percent last month, even though the introduction of some generic drugs affected pharmacy results.

The Camp Hill, Pa., company's pharmacy revenue from stores open at least a year climbed 3 percent, while revenue from the front end, or rest of the store, rose 2.7 percent. Revenue at stores open at least a year is considered a key indicator of retailer health because it leaves out results from locations that have opened or closed in the last year.

Rite Aid said generic drug introductions hurt sales. Generic competitors for the cholesterol fighter Lipitor and the antipsychotic Zyprexa entered the market at the end of last year. Generic drugs are cheaper than brand-name alternatives and tend to depress pharmacy revenue but improve profitability.

Total sales for the month climbed 2.5 percent to $1.99 billion.

Rite Aid is the third-largest U.S. drugstore chain, trailing Walgreen Co. and CVS Caremark Corp. It operated 4,658 stores as of April 28, down from 4,705 in the same period last year.

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