The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc.
TSX : PJC.A

The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc.

April 13, 2007 14:05 ET

The Jean Coutu Group-March Same Store Sales Increase 8.1% in the Canadian Network and 0.7% in the United States Network

LONGUEUIL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - April 13, 2007) - The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc. (TSX:PJC.A) (the "Company" or the "Jean Coutu Group") today announced retail sales results for the five weeks ended April 7, 2007. Retail sales growth percentages quoted herein are denominated in local currency in order to exclude the impact of currency rate fluctuations. Please note that monthly retail sales numbers are preliminary and unaudited.

As expected, March sales were positively impacted by an earlier Easter (April 8th versus April 16th last year), which shifted holiday sales into the March sales period. The Company estimates the Easter shift had a positive impact on front-end sales growth of approximately 400 basis points in the Canadian franchise network and 490 basis points in the United State corporate pharmacy network for the period.

Monthly Retail Sales

For the five weeks ended April 7, 2007, the Company's Canadian franchise network's same store retail sales were up 8.1%, pharmacy same store sales gained 8.1% while front-end same store sales increased 7.9% year-over-year. The network showed a 8.9% increase in total retail sales compared with the same period last year. Retail sales for the period were $258.3 million.

For the month of March 2007, the United States corporate pharmacy network same store retail sales increased 0.7%, pharmacy same store sales decreased 0.8% while front-end same store sales increased 5.2% compared with the same period of the 2006 fiscal year. The impact of generic drugs replacing brand drugs on pharmacy sales growth was 566 basis points for the period. Front-end sales performed well in the general merchandise, consumables and beauty categories. The network posted a 0.7% increase in total retail sales when compared with the same period of the 2006 fiscal year. Retail sales for the period were $934.2 million.



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RETAIL SALES GROWTH
MARCH 2007
Canada (1) USA
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Same store sales growth
Total 8.1% 0.7%
Pharmacy 8.1% -0.8%
Front-end 7.9% 5.2%

Total sales growth
Total 8.9% 0.7%
Pharmacy 8.7% -0.9%
Front-end 9.1% 5.3%

Sales mix
Pharmacy 60% 74%
Front-end 40% 26%

(1) Franchised outlets' retail sales are not included in the
Company's consolidated financial statements.
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Year-to-Date Retail Sales

For the forty five-week period ended April 7, 2007, the Company's Canadian franchise network showed a 12.1% increase in retail sales compared with the forty four-week period last year, or 7.8% on a comparable forty five-week period basis.

The United States corporate pharmacy network posted a 4.0% increase in retail sales for the same period when compared with the forty four-week period of the 2006 fiscal year, or 1.5% on a comparable forty five-week period basis.

About The Jean Coutu Group

The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc. is the fourth largest drugstore chain in North America and the second largest in both the eastern United States and Canada. The Company and its combined network of 2,182 corporate and franchised drugstores (under the banners of Brooks and Eckerd Pharmacy, PJC Jean Coutu, PJC Clinique and PJC Sante Beaute) employ more than 61,000 people.

The Jean Coutu Group's United States operations employ 46,000 people and comprise 1,856 corporate owned stores located in 18 states of the Northeastern, mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States. The Jean Coutu Group's Canadian operations and franchised drugstores in its network employ over 15,000 people and comprise 326 PJC Jean Coutu franchised stores in Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario.

Certain statements contained in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The words "looking forward," "looking ahead," "believe(s)," "should," "may," "expect(s)," "anticipate(s)," "likely," "opportunity," and similar expressions, among others, identify forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release.

Contact Information

  • Source:
    The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc.
    or
    Information:
    Michael Murray
    Director, Investor Relations
    450-646-9611, ext. 1068
    or
    Helene Bisson
    Director, Public Relations
    450-646-9611, ext. 1165
    Toll free: 1-866-878-5206