Walgreen Co (NYSE:WAG), the largest U.S. drugstore chain, posted a sharply higher quarterly profit on Tuesday, helped by rising sales of general merchandise and prescriptions.
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Walgreen said it had earned $792 million, or 87 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended on August 31, up 68.5 percent from $470 million, or 49 cents per share, a year earlier.
Walgreen announced in June that it would stop filling prescriptions for people covered by pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts Inc
The company said there has been "no substantive progress" in the contract renewal negotiations with Express Scripts.
Sales rose 6.5 percent to $18 billion, while sales at stores open at least a year rose 4.4 percent in the quarter. The number of visitors of drugstores open at least a year rose 1.6 percent, and customers spent 3 percent more per visit.
Walgreen runs more than 7,7O0 drugstores.
(Reporting by Phil Wahba; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)