Lloydspharmacy owner expects further branch closures across Europe

US company McKesson, which owns Lloydspharmacy, referred to “expected further closures of retail pharmacy stores across Europe”, in slides to accompany its 2018-19 financial results, published yesterday (May 8).

When asked by C+D whether this means more Lloydspharmacies will close in the UK, McKesson said it had “no further details to add at this time”.

Closures have formed a key part of Lloydspharmacy’s recent business strategy. In 2017 it announced plans to stop trading in around 190 “commercially unviable” branches, in an effort to cope with the funding cuts in England.

C+D has since identified 78 of these branches that Lloydspharmacy has closed, and another 104 that it sold.

“Accelerating UK restructuring”

Discussing the financial results, McKesson executive vice president and chief financial officer Britt Vitalone also referred to “further closures of retail pharmacy stores…throughout Europe”, and said the business is “working to reinforce and accelerate our UK restructuring”.

McKesson is “focused on executing against key initiatives to strengthen the business in the UK”, he added.

Mr Vitalone predicted “low to mid-single digit percent revenue growth” in Europe for 2020, but added that this “assumes a modest improvement in our UK business”, with no additional funding cuts.

Expanding on his comments, McKesson president and chief operating officer Brian Tyler said “rationalising” its Lloydspharmacy portfolio and “restructuring operations” has “given us the confidence we can get Europe back to a modest growth next year”.

Adjusted operating profit for McKesson’s European pharmaceutical solutions division – which includes Lloydspharmacy – in the first three months of 2019 was $23 million (£17.7m), a 72% drop on the same period the previous year.

Author: Lorraine Oliver

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