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WALGREEN CO. REPORTS RECORD SALES, EARNINGS FOR SECOND QUARTER, FIRST HALF 1993

 DEERFIELD, Ill., March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG) today reported record sales and earnings for the second quarter and first six months of fiscal 1993.
 Sales for the quarter ended Feb. 28, 1993 were up 10.8 percent to $2,257,921,000, while net earnings advanced 9.2 percent to $84,213,000 or 68 cents per share, compared with earnings of $77,149,000 or 62 cents per share last year.
 Quarterly earnings were negatively impacted by 3 cents per share due to redemption of all $100 million of the company's 9-1/2 percent sinking fund debentures, due in 2016. Without this charge, quarterly earnings would have advanced 14.6 percent to 71 cents per share.
 The debenture redemption -- announced in the first quarter -- effectively eliminated Walgreens long-term debt and will save as much as $6 million per year in net interest expense.
 Net sales for the first six months rose 11.4 percent to $4,172,551,000, and net earnings increased 10.5 percent to $124,471,000 or $1.01 per share, compared with earnings of $112,598,000 or 91 cents per share last year.
 Without the 3 cents per share charge, net earnings for the six months would have advanced 14.2 percent to $1.04 per share.
 Pharmacy sales again led overall sales advances, increasing 15.1 percent for the second quarter and 14.5 percent for the first six months. Prescription sales for comparable stores (those open at least one year) were up 11.3 percent for the first half of the fiscal year.
 "We opened 57 new stores in the first half of fiscal 1993, putting us on schedule to open more than 130 new stores this year and 140 next year," said C.R. Walgreen III, chairman. "We plan to be opening 200 new Walgreen drugstores per year by the end of the decade.
 "We anticipate that major health care legislation will be forthcoming and have been closely following this issue. Walgreens is well positioned, we believe, to effectively deal with whatever changes are proposed, including possible extension of health care benefits -- and prescription coverage -- to the 30-35 million uninsured Americans."
 At Feb. 28, Walgreens will operate 1,769 drugstores in 29 states and Puerto Rico, compared to 1,692 a year ago.
 WALGREEN CO.
 COMPARATIVE CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS
 (Unaudited -- thousands, except per share data)
 QUARTER ENDED SIX MONTHS ENDED
 Percent Percent
 2/28/93 2/29/92 Change 2/28/93 2/29/92 Change
 Net sales $2,257,921 $2,038,016 10.8 $4,172,551 $3,746,747 11.4
 Net earnings(A) $84,213 $77,149 9.2 $124,471 $112,598 10.5
 Net earnings
 per share (B) $.68 $.62 9.7 $1.01 $.91 11.0
 Dividends
 declared
 per share $.15 $.13 15.4 $.30 $.26 15.4
 (A) Earnings in the second quarter, 1993 were decreased by a one-time charge of 3 cents per share, due to redemption of all $100 million of the company's 9-1/2 percent sinking fund debentures, due in 2016. This action effectively eliminated Walgreens long-term debt and will save as much as $6 million per year in net interest expense.
 (B) The weighted average number of common shares and equivalents used for calculating primary net earnings per share was 123,758,000 and 123,682,000 for the six months ended Feb. 28, 1993 and Feb. 29, 1992, respectively. Fully diluted net earnings per share are the same as primary net earnings per share.
 -0- 3/29/93
 /CONTACT: Thomas L. Mammoser of Walgreen Co., 708-940-2920/
 (WAG)


CO: Walgreen Co. ST: Illinois IN: REA SU: ERN

PS -- NY027 -- 0400 03/29/93 10:07 EST
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Date:Mar 29, 1993
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