CAMP HILL, Pa. (AP) — Rite Aid said Thursday that a closely-watched sales measurement improved in November as its pharmacies did more business.
The results cover a five-week period that ended Nov. 28. The company noted that its results last year were hurt by Superstorm Sandy, which struck in late October 2012.
Rite Aid said sales at stores open at least a year grew 2.8 percent. At those stores, pharmacy revenue grew 3.9 percent and sales of non-pharmacy items like food and cosmetics rose 0.4 percent. The company said the comparison to last year's Sandy-affected results was responsible for almost half the pharmacy sales growth.
Sales at stores open at least a year are considered an important measurement of retail health. That's because they leave out results from stores that have opened or closed within the last year, highlighting sales at locations that have stayed in business.
For the third quarter also ended Nov. 28, the company said sales at stores open at least a year rose 2.3 percent with pharmacy revenue at those stores rising 3.5 percent.
Total drugstore sales rose 1.9 percent to $6.33 billion in the third quarter.
Rite Aid Corp. had 4,595 stores at the end of the quarter.
Its shares lost 16 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $5.84 in morning trading. Its shares have more than tripled so far this year.