Walgreens revenue from established drugstores jumped 7.6 percent last month, helped by a later Easter holiday that also hurt sales growth in March.
The Deerfield-based company said Monday that revenue from the front-end of its stores, or the area outside the pharmacy, rose 8.2 percent in April, in part because Easter fell on April 20 as opposed to March 31 last year. Easter tends to boost sales in the front-end of drugstores, which sell candy and other items for the holiday.
Walgreen Co. competitor Rite Aid Corp. said last week it saw a similar benefit in April. Both drugstore chains also reported drops in front-end sales during March.
Revenue from stores open at least a year is considered a key indicator of a retailer's financial health. It strips away the volatility of recently opened or closed stores.
Walgreen and Rite Aid are the nation's largest and third-largest drugstore chains, respectively, based on the number of stores. The second-largest, CVS Caremark Corp., doesn't report monthly sales publicly.
Walgreen also said Monday that pharmacy revenue from its established stores climbed 7.3 percent last month compared to April 2013.
Total April sales climbed nearly 9 percent to $6.49 billion for the drugstore chain.
Walgreen ran 8,231 drugstores at the end of April, or 145 more than it did at the same time last year.
Shares of Walgreen edged up 4 cents to $68.90 in premarket trading Monday shortly before markets opened and after the company announced April sales. The company's stock had already climbed about 20 percent so far this year, as of Friday.