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Walgreens Presents Growth Strategy At 2013 Annual Shareholders Meeting

Stocks in this article: WAG

Walgreens is expanding services available at its pharmacies and Take Care Clinics to include additional immunizations; chronic care management; primary care; Medicare wellness visits and member assessments; and health testing.

“With nearly 70 percent of the U.S. population either without a primary care physician or not utilizing one, and more than 30 million people gaining insurance coverage in 2014 under health care reform, we are well-positioned to fill the void in care,” Wasson said.

Throughout 2013 and beyond, Walgreens will be creating an unprecedented and efficient global platform through its strategic partnership with Alliance Boots. “We are bringing together two iconic brands with a lot in common,” Wasson said. “Boots is to Europe as Walgreens is to the U.S. In addition, with Alliance Boots bringing an integrated wholesale business to the table, we believe there is significant opportunity for supply chain efficiencies. The global pharmaceutical market continues to grow, particularly in emerging markets where there is increased demand for vaccines and self-medications. Together we are well-positioned for growth as we create the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise.”

During the meeting, the company also reviewed key highlights and milestones over the past year. Walgreens generated record cash flow from operations of $4.4 billion and returned $1.9 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends and stock repurchases. That included the largest quarterly dividend in the company’s history and the 37 th consecutive year in which the company has raised its dividend.

In addition to closing on its first step in the strategic partnership with Alliance Boots, Walgreens also announced and later completed its acquisition of drugstore chain USA Drug in the mid-South region of the country, opened its 8,000 th store with a new location in Hollywood, Calif., and launched its Balance Rewards loyalty program which has seen more than 50 million people enroll since its introduction.

Wasson concluded, “During the last several years we have worked to transform the company from the great foundation that our predecessors gave us. With our three strategic growth objectives in place, Walgreens is now positioned extremely well for long-term growth.”

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