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This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet

Executive Summary

Store openings contributed to a 14% rise in sales to $8.2 bil. for the fourth quarter (ended Aug. 31), while net earnings were up 11.9% to $277.1 mil., according to Walgreen. The firm opened 209 stores in the fourth quarter alone to total 4,227 locations. Store expansion in 2004 will be targeted to California, the Carolinas, Florida, Texas and Washington, and the retailer notes it is on track to reach 7,000 stores by 2010. Comparable store sales in Q4 were up 9.9%. Full year revenue was up 13.3% to $32.5 bil., with comparable store sales up 8.6%. Net earnings rose 15.4% to $1.18 bil. Walgreen notes it is budgeting more than $1 bil. in capital investments for the new fiscal year...

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