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UPDATE 1-Alliance Boots defies gloom with profit rise
May 16, 2011 / 6:28 AM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-Alliance Boots defies gloom with profit rise

* FY trading profit 1.05 bln stg, up 14.2 pct

* Revenue 20.2 bln stg, up 15.1 pct

* Debt cut by 546 mln stg

* Confident about future prospects

(Adds detail)

LONDON, May 16 (Reuters) - Healthcare group Alliance Boots [ABN.UL] bucked the gloom around British retailers, posting a 14.2 percent rise in year profit, and cutting its debt.

The group, taken private in 2007 in what at the time was Europe’s biggest leveraged buyout, said on Monday it made a trading profit of 1.05 billion pounds ($1.70 billion) in the year to March 31.

Revenue increased 15.1 percent to 20.2 billion pounds, with growth driven by market share gains in its core British health and beauty stores, as well as a strong performance from its international drugs wholesale business, which was boosted by acquisitions.

The firm’s net borrowings were reduced by 546 million pounds.

Alliance Boots, which was bought for 11 billion pounds by private equity firm KKR [KKR.UL] and Executive Chairman Stefano Pessina, said it had a strong platform for continuing growth.

The group cautioned that it is planning for consumer demand to be subdued and expects governments to continue to seek ways to contain growth in healthcare expenditure.

“In spite of this, we are confident about our future prospects both in the short and longer term,” said Pessina.

In March Andy Hornby abruptly quit his job as the group’s chief executive after less than two years in the job. The former CEO of HBOS (LLOY.L) said he needed a break from corporate life. [ID:nLDE72O12E]

Reporting by James Davey

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