Boots bucks high street trend

Alliance Boots, the health and beauty group, has joined HMV and Primark in giving the high street a boost with positive Christmas sales results. The group has reported a 4.8% increase in like-for-like sales over the three months to December 31.

The health and beauty side of the business is understood to have performed particularly well and the retail division, excluding dispensary, growing by 6.9%. The wholesale division saw sales increase by 3.4% and volumes in the dispensary business rose by 5.2%.

The results also show that the retail business has bounced back from last January, when the group was forced to announced a slowdown at its UK stored after like-for-like sales growth of just 1.5%.

The group was acquired by private equity company Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in April last year and has always maintained the it would be able to improve Alliance Boots as a privately held group.

Meanwhile, music and games retailer HMV yesterday (January 17) reported a record Christmas with like-for-like sales ahead 9.4% in the five weeks leading up to January 5. The strong results have been attributed to strong demand for video games. Primark, the budget retailer, also enjoyed better than expected Christmas sales reporting a 26% increase in total sales for the 16 weeks to January 25.

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