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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 11:04 a.m., Friday, December 22, 2006

Walgreen's profit rises 25 percent

Bloomberg News

Walgreen Co., the drugstore chain planning to open two stores in Hawai'i, said profit rose 25 percent as the government's new Medicare drug plan and generic medicines boosted sales.

First-quarter net income climbed to $431.7 million, or 43 cents a share, beating by 2 cents the average estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Profit was $345.6 million, or 34 cents, a year earlier, Walgreen said today in a statement.

Revenue jumped 17 percent to $12.7 billion, the biggest increase in three years, as the Medicare plan that began in January attracted senior citizens. More profitable generic versions of best-selling medicines such as the Zocor cholesterol treatment have boosted sales at Deerfield, Illinois-based Walgreen and competitors including CVS Corp.