January 5, 2017 / 2:44 PM / 7 months ago

BRIEF-Walgreens CFO on conf call- Branded drug price inflation continued, was at a more moderate level

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Jan 5 (Reuters) - Walgreens

* CFO on conf call- currency had a negative impact on q1 year-over-year performance, us dollar being around 18% higher versus sterling

* CFO on conf call- branded drug price inflation continued and was at a more moderate level than in prior quarters

* CFO on conf call- Q1 gross margin was higher than last year primarily driven by owned brand performance and procurement benefits

* CFO - recruitment and training of beauty consultants taking slightly longer than expected

* CEO- "no doubt that the (U.S.) healthcare system needs to change by improving the provision of healthcare while acting to control the rapid growth in costs"

* CEO- "Holiday shopping was later than usual, with bulk of sales occurring in the last days before christmas... Once again seen what appears to be a solid holiday period in our main retail market"

* We have been pricing more competitively in some of our networks in preparation to drive volume Further company coverage:

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