Quebec-based pharmacy chain Jean Coutu is reporting a lower first-quarter net profit of $54.1 million, or 29 cents per share, compared with $108.6 million, or 51 cents per share, in the same quarter of the previous fiscal year.
Jean Coutu says the decrease in net profit is attributable to a gain of $54.4 million related to its investment in U.S. pharmacy chain Rite Aid recognized during the first quarter of fiscal year 2014.
The pharmacy chain says net profit before gains related to the investment in Rite Aid amounted to $54.1 million, or 29 cents per share for the first quarter of fiscal year 2015, compared with $54.2 million, or 26 cents per share for the first quarter of fiscal year 2014. Analysts had estimated adjusted earnings per share of 30 cents, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters.
Revenues increased to $688.6 million, compared with $681.6 million year-over-year. Analysts had estimated $689.6 million in revenue.
Generic drugs reached 67.8 per cent of prescriptions during the first quarter of fiscal year 2015, compared with 66 per cent of prescriptions for the same period of the previous fiscal year.
The increase in the number of generic drugs prescriptions with lower selling prices than brand name drugs had a negative impact on the pharmacy's retail sales. For the first quarter of fiscal year 2015, the introduction of new generic drugs cut pharmacy's retail sales growth by 1.1 per cent and price reductions of generic drugs reduced the growth of those sales by 1.2 per cent.
Sales of non-prescription drugs, which represented 8.7 per cent of total retail sales, decreased by 0.1 per cent after increasing by 3.6 per cent in the same period of fiscal year 2014.
Same-store sales, referring to stores open for at least a year, increased by 0.1 per cent in the quarter and pharmacy sales increased by 0.3 per cent.