Same-store sales remained on a growth track in October at Rite Aid Corp.

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Rite Aid posts same-store sales gain for October

October 31st, 2013

CAMP HILL, Pa. – Same-store sales remained on a growth track in October at Rite Aid Corp.

Rite Aid said Thursday that for the four weeks ended Oct. 26, comparable-store sales rose 2.1% year over year. That was up from a 1.9% increase in September and continued steady growth in monthly comp-store sales since the start of the summer.

In the front end, same-store sales dipped 0.6% for October.

Comparable pharmacy sales climbed 3.4% in October and reflected a negative impact of 85 basis points from the introduction of new generic drugs, which carry lower prices but higher profit margins. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores edged up 1.1% for the month.

Rite Aid noted that October results include negative impacts of 1.4% on front-end same-store sales and 0.3% on comp-store prescription count from the cycling of sales prior to Superstorm Sandy last year. The retailer said year-ago results benefited from a sales rise in the days immediately before the devastating hurricane. The company added that it expects the cycling of Sandy's impact to have a positive impact on November results.

In October, overall drug store sales came in at just over $1.96 billion, up 2.2% from nearly $1.92 billion a year earlier. Prescription sales represented 69.1% of drug store sales.

For the 34-week year-to-date period ended Oct. 26, same-store sales were virtually flat, down 0.1% versus the prior-year period. Comp-store results dipped 0.1% in both the front end and the pharmacy, while script count was up 0.2%.

Total drug store sales for the 34 weeks declined 0.3% to $16.41 billion from just over $16.46 billion a year earlier. Prescription sales accounted for 68% of overall drug store sales.

As of Oct. 26, Rite Aid operated 4,599 drug stores, compared with 4,637 stores a year ago.