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Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), the parent company of Boots UK, once again reported a decline in profits as the company’s net earnings for the fiscal 2020 first quarter has seen a 24.8 per cent decrease.

The results for the quarter ending on November 30, 2019 show 2.7 per cent decrease in the retail international pharmacy sales which the company attributed to lower retail sales at Boots UK and in Chile.

In a conference call, WBA confirmed that it has already closed 28 of the 200 pharmacies it is planning to close in the UK by the end of 2020.

The lower retail sales and margin in Boots UK also reflected in the adjusted gross profit, which decreased by 3.6 per cent.

According to the latest report, pharmacy sales in international markets increased 0.6 per cent on a constant currency basis, primarily due to the UK, driven by higher NHS reimbursement and increased sales of services.

Comparable retail sales, however, decreased 3 per cent on a constant currency basis.

“We are maintaining our outlook for the year despite a soft first quarter. We are confident our strategic plans are the right ones to drive long-term sustainable growth going forward,” said Stefano Pessina, WBA chief executive.

Boots previously reported a 20.7 per cent decrease in net earnings for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2019.

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