CAMP HILL, Pa. (AP) — Rite Aid ended 2013 with revenue growth of nearly 3 percent during December from its established locations, as the drugstore chain saw sales rise both in and outside its store pharmacies.
The Camp Hill, Pa., company's stock jumped Friday after it announced the performance.
Rite Aid Corp. said that its pharmacy revenue from stores open at least a year grew 4.1 percent despite a hit from cheaper generic drugs and a drop in prescription count due to fewer flu shots and flu-related prescriptions. Revenue from the front-end of its stores, or the area outside the pharmacy, rose 1 percent in the four-week period that ended Dec. 28.
The company reported a front-end gain a few weeks after Rite Aid executives told analysts that those sales were being hurt by the same challenges other retailers face: cautious consumer spending and a competitive promotional environment.
Revenue from established stores is a key indicator of a retailer's health because it excludes the impact from recently opened or closed stores.
Rite Aid ran 4,592 stores at the end of last month, or 38 fewer than it did at the end of 2012. It is the nation's third-largest drugstore chain, trailing Walgreen Co. and CVS Caremark Corp.
Total company revenue climbed 2.7 percent to $2.11 billion in December.
Company shares jumped more than 8 percent, or 42 cents, to $5.46 during morning trading Friday. That gain came after the stock's value more than tripled in 2013.