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Boots delivers strong sales growth in retail and pharmacy for WBA's fiscal 2022 first quarter earnings

06 January 2022
News Brand

Commenting on Boots’ contribution to Walgreens Boots Alliance’s fiscal 2022 first quarter earnings, Seb James, Managing Director of Boots UK & Republic of Ireland, said:

“Boots delivered another strong performance this quarter with both retail and pharmacy sales continuing to increase year on year, along with very encouraging market share growth.

“Our transformation continues as planned with investment, particularly in digital, our beauty portfolio and healthcare services, aiding a fast-paced recovery from the pandemic. This is also driving strong market share gains from both traditional and new competitors. Digital sales are almost double what they were two years ago.

“Covid restrictions continue to create headwinds for the UK High Street but we remain focused on delivering for our customers. We are proud to support communities with testing, vaccinations and a range of healthcare services as more and more people choose their local pharmacy as their first port of call when feeling unwell. I want to thank all our team members for their continued extraordinary efforts.”


  • It was a strong quarter for the business, underpinned by robust execution across all of WBA’s business segments including International and particularly Boots, which delivered strong sales growth in retail and pharmacy
  • Boots market share strengthened across all categories, with Beauty performing particularly well
  • Christmas performance has been good with Boots seeing market share growth in December, despite challenging trading conditions due to Omicron

Top-line results

  • Retail Pharmacy International Q1 sales: $5.8 billion, an increase of 35.8% from Q1 ’21 and up 34.2% on a constant currency basis, including higher sales associated with the formation of company's wholesale joint venture in Germany
    • Excluding this benefit, International segment sales on a constant currency basis increased 8.6%, reflecting the ongoing recovery and strong execution across most International markets, particularly in the UK, where sales advanced 13.4%
  • Boots UK comparable pharmacy sales up 8.8%, reflecting stronger demand for pharmacy services, with sales up more than 200% year on year. This included COVID-19 private travel testing services
  • Boots UK comparable retail sales increased 16.3%, reflecting a recovery in footfall and strong commercial execution. Basket size was up around 12% in Q1 vs. pre COVID levels
  • continued to perform well, with digital sales in the first quarter almost doubling compared with the equivalent quarter pre-COVID-19. sales now account for more than 15% of total retail sales

Additional highlights

  • Boots UK delivered 2.0 million flu vaccinations in Q1, up 150% vs last year, making this Boots UK’s largest ever season
  • Further development of Boots healthcare services, both in store and online
    • Boots offers over 100 healthcare services online or instore such as acne treatment, period pain relief and mental health support
    • Boots Online Doctor Services launched 45 new services in 2021 to provide quick and easy healthcare advice and prescription medication, without the need for a GP visit
  • Boots UK opened 27 new Beauty halls in regional locations
  • Boots COVID-19 support
    • Boots continued to support the NHS to deliver COVID-19 booster vaccinations in over 80 stores
    • Since Boots opened its first vaccination hub at its Halifax store in January 2021, Boots has administered over 1.2 million COVID-19 vaccinations
    • In December, to support the national effort to accelerate uptake of COVID-19 booster jabs, Boots doubled appointment capacity at existing sites and added a small number of new sites


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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and 2,100 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

Boots is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail.  More company information is available on

*Figures accurate as of 30 November 2023