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Rite Aid sales increased in September

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Drugstore chain Rite Aid Corp. said Thursday that an important revenue measurement rose in September as its pharmacy business improved.

The company said revenue at stores open at least a year grew 1.3 percent over the four weeks ended Sept. 24. Revenue at its pharmacies rose 2.1 percent, and revenue from other items sold at the front end of stores fell 0.5 percent.

The company said Hurricane Irene helped its sales in August as shoppers stocked up ahead of the storm, but in early September, the effects of the storm kept shoppers away from stores and hurt its revenue.

Revenue at stores open at least a year is considered a key measurement of retailer performance because it excludes results from stores that have opened or closed in the last year.

The figures extend a sales turnaround at the drugstore chain, whose performance has lagged competitors like Walgreen Co. and CVS Caremark Inc. Rite Aid’s revenue at stores open at least a year began improving over the winter after declining for a year and a half. In the company’s latest fiscal quarter, that revenue grew 2.2 percent.

Rite Aid said its total revenue rose 1.1 percent to $1.92 billion from $1.9 billion.

The company had 4,694 stores as of Sept. 24, down from 4,742 a year ago.

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