'Good progress' at Alliance Boots


'Good progress' at Alliance Boots
Pharmaceutical retailer Alliance Boots' (AB) 2006/07 profit boost appears to have justified the feeding frenzy it prompted last month.

The health and beauty group's pro forma adjusted earnings were up 11.5 per cent for its financial year ending March 31st. Underlying profit rose by £641 million.

A consortium led by private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and deputy chairman Steffano Pessina overcame a rival bid from Terra Firma, the Wellcome Trust and HBOS last month.

Mr Pessina's £11.1 billion bid for AB, which has more than 3,100 retail outlets and 380 distributing depots across Europe, eventually emerged victorious.

"The results reaffirm our belief that in AB we have created a leading international pharmacy-led health and beauty group with attractive prospects and opportunities," AB chief executive Richard Baker said.

"We have delivered a strong financial performance while executing one of the biggest mergers undertaken in the UK."

Alliance Unichem and the Boots group completed their merger last year.

Shares in AB rose by 0.13 per cent on early morning trading.

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