Reviewing a year of major strategic progress in transforming Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (Nasdaq: WAG) for long-term sustainable growth and value creation, Chairman James A. Skinner, President and Chief Executive Officer Gregory D. Wasson and Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and President, International Wade D. Miquelon today outlined the company’s growth opportunities and strategy at Walgreens Annual Shareholders Meeting. Addressing nearly 2,000 shareholders in Chicago, company leadership also discussed the substantial progress Walgreens has made since announcing its “plan to win” in 2009.
Wasson said, “Our ‘plan to win’ was a journey to innovate and reinvent Walgreens for a new era of growth and value creation. Toward that end, we slowed new store growth to invest more in our existing store base. We looked at new, innovative retail concepts both in the U.S. and around the world. We made major acquisitions such as Duane Reade in New York City and drugstore.com, forged a strategic partnership with Alliance Boots and began a long-term strategic relationship with AmerisourceBergen. All of this culminated in a year of solid progress in fiscal 2013 and a five-year total shareholder return for our stock of 145 percent.”
In the last fiscal year, Walgreens reached record sales of $72.2 billion with an adjusted net earnings increase of 16.3 percent to $3 billion, while GAAP net earnings increased 15.2 percent to $2.5 billion. Operating cash flow was $4.3 billion for the year, and free cash flow reached a record $3.1 billion. The company continued to return significant cash to shareholders with $1 billion paid in dividends, and provided a total shareholder return in the last 12 months of 53 percent.
“We are in two dynamic industries – retail and health care – that are converging as consumers become more involved in shopping for their health care solutions,” said Wasson.