US-based healthcare, pharmacy and retail company Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has posted strong results in the first quarter (Q1) of the fiscal year 2022 (FY22), which ended on 30 November 2021.

During the three-month period, the company’s sales from its continuing operations were $33.9bn, a 7.8% increase from the $31.4bn recorded in Q1 2021.

The company generated an operating income of $1.3bn in Q1 2022, having recorded a loss of $535m in the same period of last year.

Its net earnings for the quarter were $3.6bn, compared with a loss of $391m in the same period a year earlier.

WBA’s earnings per share (EPS) also increased to $4.13 from a loss of $0.45 on a year-on-year basis.

During the quarter, the company completed majority investments in primary care service provider VillageMD and speciality pharmacy integrator Shields.

WBA CEO Rosalind Brewer said: “First-quarter results exceeded our expectations, with a very encouraging performance across all our business segments.

“I am particularly excited about the progress we’re making in building out Walgreens Health.

“Our majority investments in VillageMD and Shields closed during the quarter, and we’re rolling out VillageMD primary care co-locations and Walgreens Health Corners at pace.

“The strong start to the fiscal year reinforces our confidence in the future and, as a result, we are raising our guidance for the full year and increasing investments in our people.

“Looking ahead, we are well-positioned for sustainable, long-term value creation.”

In response to the positive Q1 results, WBA has raised its full-year adjusted EPS guidance from flat to low single-digit growth.

The company operates a network of around 13,000 pharmacy retail stores across the US, Europe and Latin America.

In June last year, WBA sold its Alliance Healthcare businesses to drug wholesale company AmerisourceBergen for around $6.5bn.