Walgreens reports surprise drop in quarterly sales

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The exterior of the Walgreens store in Times Square is seen in New York, U.S., July 5, 2016. Picture taken July 5, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (Copyright Reuters 2017)

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc , the largest U.S. drugstore chain, reported a surprise drop in quarterly sales, hurt by a weak euro and pound and lower reimbursements for generic drugs.

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Net income attributable to Walgreens fell to $1.05 billion, or 97 cents per share, in the first quarter ended Nov. 30, from $1.11 billion, or $1.01 per share, a year earlier.

Sales fell to $28.50 billion from $29.03 billion.

Walgreens, which is awaiting regulatory approval for its $9.5 billion takeover of smaller rival Rite Aid Corp , said it expects to close the deal early this year.

(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)