Walgreen Co. says its first-quarter sales reached a record $17.3 billion, up 6% from last year, while net earnings jumped 19% to $580 million.
The Deerfield, Ill.-based chain attributed the strong results to improved cost controls, as well as merchandising, including promotions and pricing. On a comparable-store basis, however, sales rose just 0.8%. Prescription sales rose 5.3% overall; 0.9% on a comparable-store basis.
The company also says it administered 5.6 million flu shots, up a bit from last year -- providing more flu shot immunizations than any other single entity in the country, except for the federal government.