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By
Reuters
Published
May 17, 2010
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Alliance Boots profit tops £1 billion, markets subdued

By
Reuters
Published
May 17, 2010

LONDON, May 17 (Reuters) - Alliance Boots [ABN.UL], Britain's biggest pharmacy chain, posted annual profits of over 1 billion pounds ($1.5 billion) on Monday 17 May, becoming only the third UK retailer to pass that milestone.

Boots
Photo: www.boots-uk.com

The group, bought in 2007 by private equity firm KKR [KKR.UL] and executive chairman Stefano Pessina for 11 billion pounds in Europe's biggest leveraged buyout, said the 13 percent increase in trading profit made it confident of coping with subdued consumer demand across Europe in the coming year.

Supermarket group Tesco (TSCO.L) and clothing-to-foods chain Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) are the only other British retailers to have produced annual profits of over 1 billion pounds.

Alliance Boots' revenue for the year ended March 31 rose 9.6 percent to 22.5 billion pounds, including a 10.3 percent increase at its wholesale arm and a 5.2 percent rise at its health and beauty division.

Net debt fell 645 million pounds to 8.39 billion. ($1=.6859 Pound) (Reporting by Mark Potter; Editing by Hans Peters)

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