Shoppers Drug Mart reports lower quarterly net income

Reuters

TORONTO, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Shoppers Drug Mart Corp,Canada's largest pharmacy chain, on Tuesday reported slightlylower quarterly net income due in part to charges from itspending acquisition by Loblaw Co Ltd.

The company said third-quarter net income fell to C$165.8million ($158.33 million), or 83 Canadian cents per share, fromC$167.7 million, or 81 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier,when there was more outstanding stock.

Excluding special items, earnings per share were 88 Canadiancents, up from 85 Canadian cents a year earlier.

Analysts on average expected earnings of 81 Canadian centsper share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales rose 2.4 percent to C$3.29 billion, meeting analysts'estimates. Sales at established stores, a key measure forretailers, were 2.2 percent higher.

But the average prescription value declined a further 2.7percent during the quarter. Pharmacies have been hit by ongoingregulation changes in Canada that put a cap on generic drugprices.

Results also included C$14 million in costs from the Loblawdeal.

In September, shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favor ofthe C$12.4 billion sale to Canada's largest food retailer. Thetransaction will probably be finalized before the end of thefirst quarter after Canadian competition regulators give theirapproval.

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