Alliance Boots reports big rise in profits

Boots sign
Image caption Boots was bought by private equity in 2007

Health and beauty retailer Alliance Boots has announced a a pre-tax profit of £475m for the year to 31 March - up from £13m a year earlier.

The High Street chain - which employs 75,000 staff in the UK, with 2,500 stores and 670 opticians - also saw trading profit pass £1bn.

The group's executive chairman Stefano Pessina said the company was "building a platform for long-term growth".

Boots was bought out by Mr Pessina and a private equity firm in 2007.

"Since taking the company private, this is our third consecutive year of double-digit trading profit growth," he said.

But Andy Hornby - former HBOS boss and now chief executive at Boots - said the company would have to face "subdued" consumer demand across Europe.

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