ALLIANCE Boots said today it was in good shape after its Boots-branded health and beauty business increased profits for the first time in five years.
In the first set of annual results since a £7bn merger of Boots and Alliance UniChem, the group said underlying profits rose by more than 7% to £641m in the year to March 31.
Chief executive Richard Baker described the financial performance as strong and said he expected the trend to continue this year.
Alliance Boots is set to be taken private later this year after deputy chairman Stefano Pessina and buy-out group KKR tabled a successful £11bn takeover offer.
Mr Baker said: "We have delivered a strong financial performance while executing one of the biggest mergers undertaken in the UK.
"Across the group, we have seen the positive impact of our pre-merger planning, our new working relationships and our dedicated people all contributing to the good results."
In the UK retail division, total revenues rose by 3.9% to £5.96bn with like-for-like sales 2.9% ahead. Same-store sales rose by 5% in the health category, such as dispensing, while there was a 5.4% rise for beauty products and toiletries.
Those figures offset a 1% fall in sales of so-called lifestyle products, including photographic equipment.
The retail division is made up of 1,500 Boots stores - including one at King Street in Huddersfield - and community pharmacies taken on following the Alliance UniChem merger.