Rite Aid Releases First Quarter Financial Results
Rite Aid continued to operate more efficiently and reduce expenses in the first quarter of fiscal 2011, which more than offset sales and margin declines and led the company to post adjusted EBITDA of $249.8 million, slightly higher than last year’s first quarter.
Also in the quarter, Rite Aid improved customer service ratings in both the front end and pharmacy, narrowed its net loss by 2 cents per diluted share compared to the previous year’s first quarter and improved liquidity to $1.2 billion, the company’s strongest liquidity level in several years.
“All in all it was a pretty good quarter, although we are not satisfied with sales results,” says Rite Aid President and CEO John Standley. “Growing profitable sales continues to be our top priority this year. We made significant progress on several key initiatives in the first quarter, and we believe this progress will give us some sales momentum in the second half of the year.”
During the quarter, Rite Aid launched the wellness+ Rewards Program nationwide. “Overall, we are very pleased with the results of wellness+ thus far,” Standley says. “We are on track to exceed our goal of having 15 to 20 million people enrolled by the end of the fiscal year.”
The company also began rolling out its new Rite Aid Brand architecture with 60 new items introduced during the first quarter and approximately 1,000 to be introduced by the fiscal year’s end. Private brand penetration in the first quarter increased from 14.9 percent to 15.4 year over year.
Rite Aid also began training 5,000 more pharmacists to become certified immunizers. The company will soon have more than 7,000 immunizing pharmacists trained to administer as many vaccines as are allowed by each state’s laws.