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Duane Reade Holdings, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2008 Results
Date:3/10/2009

08, compared to $25.0 million in the prior year period. Excluding the above mentioned litigation settlement charge of $3.5 million, fourth quarter Adjusted FIFO EBITDA increased 4.3% to $26.1 million.

During the fourth quarter of 2008, the Company's net cash provided by operating activities was $23.6 million compared to $23.1 million in the prior year period.

Full Year Results

For the full year, total net sales were $1.774 billion, reflecting an increase of 5.2% compared to $1.687 billion in 2007. Net retail store sales increased 4.1% to $1.690 billion, from $1.623 billion in the prior year. Total same-store sales increased 4.2%, with a front-end same-store sales increase of 5.0% and a pharmacy same-store sales increase of 3.1%.

Total front-end sales increased 5.1% over the prior year due to improved merchandise offerings and the strong performance in the food and beverage categories, over-the-counter products and health and beauty items. The front-end same-store sales increase was positively impacted by approximately 0.3% in 2008 due to the aforementioned switch of Zyrtec to over-the-counter status. The June 2008 increase in cigarette excise taxes in New York State positively impacted front-end sales by 0.5%. Total pharmacy sales increased 5.3% over the prior year. Resale activity accounted for 2.7% of the pharmacy sales increase, while pharmacy net retail sales accounted for the remaining 2.6% of the increase. The aforementioned switch of Zyrtec to over-the-counter status negatively impacted pharmacy same-store sales by approximately 0.4% during 2008. The percentage of generic drugs dispensed increased by 3.9% over the prior year. The higher proportion of generics adversely impacted the pharmacy same-store sales increase by approximately 3.7%.

Gross margin increased to 30.8% compared to 30.3% in the prior year and reflects improved front-end selling margins resulting from
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SOURCE Duane Reade Holdings, Inc.
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