May 19, 2005

Boots down 11 percent on gross profits

by brian_turner

boots.jpg

Boots, the health and beauty retailer recorded an 11% decline in annual pre-tax profits to £481m in the year to March.

The result was adversely affected by supermarket competition, a decline in UK retail sales and a major restructuring at the company. Year-on-year sales at Boots The Chemist pharmacies increased by 2.4%.

The company is continuing with a price-reduction and store refurbishment programme. It has spent £390m on improving its stores and has reduced staff headcount by 2,000.

In an interview on BBC Radio 4′t Today programme, the company’s chief executive Richard Baker, said that the company was “substantially more competitive” than it was two years ago. He expected sales growth to fall back to between 0% and 2% in the current financial year.

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