UPDATE 1-Pharmacy chain Jean Coutu's revenue rises on store additions

Wed Oct 8, 2014 9:15am EDT
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Oct 8 (Reuters) - Canadian pharmacy chain Jean Coutu Group Inc reported a 3 percent rise in quarterly revenue as an increase in the number of franchised stores helped offset the impact of higher sales of generic drugs.

Prices of generics are generally lower than branded drugs as companies compete to sell medicines that are essentially interchangeable.

Price-controls for generic drugs, aimed at cutting costs for government and private health programs, have also hurt Jean Coutu and rivals such as Shoppers Drug Mart, owned by Loblaw companies

Jean Coutu has been adding small-sized stores and adding new products, especially to its private label brands.

Generic drugs accounted for 68.1 percent of prescriptions in the second quarter, compared with 67.2 percent, a year earlier, Jean Coutu said on Wednesday.

Gross sales of Pro Doc generic drugs rose to C$48.1 million ($43 million) in the quarter ended Aug. 30, from C$44.6 million a year earlier.

Same-store sales rose 2.4 percent in the quarter, compared with a 0.1 percent fall a year earlier.

Revenue rose to C$674.4 million from C$653.8 million.   Continued...