Walgreens, a pharmacy and drugstore chain which fills prescriptions and sells over-the-counter health and wellness products, as well as snacks, cosmetics, and basic housewares, was hit hard by COVID-19, tanking the pharmaceutical chain in terms of finances. However, even with a $520 million “adverse Covid-19 impact” in its fourth quarter, the global drugstore chain seems to be starting a slow rebound during the pandemic.
Walgreens, which owns more than 21,000 stores around the world in more than 25 countries, said net income fell nearly 45% to $373 million in its nightmarish 2020 fourth quarter that ended Aug. 31, due to the surge of cases of Covid-19 that caused customers to shelter in their homes and slow the global economy. Fourth quarter sales increased slightly at 2% to $34.7 billion.
“Despite uncertainty amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing gradual improvement in key U.S. and UK markets and continued strong performance in our wholesale business,” Stefano Pessina said, CEO of the Walgreens Boots Alliance.
Even still, Walgreens exceeded analysts’ expectations in earnings in the fourth quarter, and the company is hopeful for a major comeback in fiscal 2021. Walgreens projected “low single-digit growth in adjusted earnings per share” in releasing its fiscal 2021 guidance.
Even through a rough season due to COVID-19, Walgreens seems to be making a comeback despite the odds stacked against it. Even if slow, this recovery shows a glimmer of hope for other companies and businesses struggling during these hard times, and to a hopeful recovery for the whole nation.