Sales on a like-for-like basis for the six months ending on 30 September grew by 3.4 per to top the £9bn mark, a considerable improvement on the same six month period last year when like-for-like sales grew by 1.3 per cent.
Sales in the company’s health and beauty division grew by 6.2 per cent, which the company said was primarily driven by the highly successful launch of No7 Protect and Perfect serum, back in April.
Boots said that the launch garnered significant interest in the media, mainly on the back of the BBC Horizon documentary two years ago, which helped to trigger both public and media awareness after it was singled out as one of the cheapest yet most effective anti-ageing treatments on the market.
Overseas revenues hit by weak demand in Ireland
The company also said that total revenues from its operations outside of the UK increased by 7.8 per cent, but the gains were negated by a negative currency impact which meant sales grew by 1.6 per cent on a constant currency basis.
However, a significant fall in revenues from the company’s Irish operations meant that like-for-like overseas revenues fell by O.5 per cent, which offset sales growth in other countries such as Norway and the Netherlands.
“This performance is particularly encouraging despite the challenging economic conditions we all face,” said Stefano Passina, Boots Alliance chairman.
Andy Hornby at the helm
The success also marks the first six months under the leadership of newly appointed CEO Andy Hornby, who made the jump from the HBOS board of executives after its rescue takeover by Lloyds TSB.
Looking ahead, the company says that it is well positioned for the second half of the financial year, despite the continued pressures bought about by the weakened economy.
Boots says it is well positioned to profit from the Christmas trading period thanks to the launch of its catalogue, and says that further benefits should be seen from its transformation and improvement programmes.