Priceline reports record profits

Priceline Pharmacy outdoor shot

The owner of Priceline Pharmacy, Soul Pattinson and Pharmacist Advice has flagged a record half-year profit

Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API) reported on Wednesday that it expects its half-year net profit after tax to rise 14.6% to a record $29 million.

Priceline Pharmacy was the key driver of the strong result with total sales growth of 3.6%, API’s incoming CEO Richard Vincent told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting in Sydney.

Mr Vincent, who will replace Stephen Roche as CEO on 15 February, says Christmas trade was steady across the business with Priceline’s like-for-like sales rising 1.4% during Christmas, although this fell to 0.6% by mid-January.

“The PBS funding environment remains constrained which, when combined with price deflation, means that ongoing adjustments to trading terms are a necessary part of our commercial arrangements,” outgoing CEO Mr Roche told shareholders.

“The ability to continually deliver more stock at a lower cost per unit has been exceptionally well managed and was a substantial contributor to the improvements in our overall cost of doing business.”

Mr Vincent says the group is on track to have 462 stores by the end of its financial year.

“There is no other retailer of our scale in this sector with a brand for women that has our strength of brand marketing assets,” he told shareholders.

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