Strategies and outlook
With its operations and financial flexibility, the Corporation is very well positioned to capitalize on the growth in the drugstore retail industry. Demographic trends are expected to contribute to the growth in prescription drugs' consumption and to the increased use of pharmaceuticals as the primary intervention in individual healthcare. Management believes that these trends will continue and that the Corporation will maintain its growth in revenues through differentiation and quality of offering and service levels to its network of franchised stores, with a focus on sales growth, its real estate program and operating efficiency. The growth in the number of generic drugs' prescriptions, with lower selling prices than the branded drugs, will however have a deflationary impact on retail sales in the pharmacy section but our integration in generic drugs with Pro Doc will have a positive impact on the consolidated margins.
In fiscal 2014, the Corporation plans to allocate approximately $51 million to capital expenditures and to banner development costs. The Corporation plans to open or relocate 17 stores, complete 32 store renovation and expansion projects, resulting in an expected total selling square footage of the network of 3,145,000 square feet at the end of fiscal year 2014.
Financial analysts and investors are invited to attend the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2013 results conference call to be held on May 1st, 2013, at 9:00 AM (ET). The call-in number is 514-861-2255 or toll free at 1-877-405-9213, access code 4210694 followed by pound sign (#). Media and other interested individuals are invited to listen to the live or deferred broadcast on The Jean Coutu Group corporate website at www.jeancoutu.com. A full replay will also be available by dialling 514-861-2272 or toll free at 1-800-408-3053 until June 1st, 2013. The access code is 7900146, followed by pound sign (#).
Supporting documentation (Management's discussion and analysis and investor presentation) is available at www.jeancoutu.com using the investors' link. Readers may also access additional information and filings related to the Corporation using the following link to the www.sedar.com website.
About The Jean Coutu Group
The Jean Coutu Group is one of the most trusted names in Canadian pharmacy retailing. The Corporation operates a network of 407 franchised stores located in the provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario under the banners of PJC Jean Coutu, PJC Clinique, PJC Sante and PJC Sante Beaute, and employs more than 19,000 people. Furthermore, the Jean Coutu Group owns Pro Doc Ltd ("Pro Doc"), a Quebec-based subsidiary and manufacturer of generic drugs. The Corporation also holds an investment in Rite Aid Corporation ("Rite Aid") a national chain of drugstores in the United States with more than 4,600 drugstores in 31 states and the District of Columbia.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, and which are based on the Corporation's current expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions made by the Jean Coutu Group in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends. All statements that address expectations or projections about the future, including statements about the Corporation's strategy for growth, costs, operating or financial results, are forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this MD&A, including statements regarding the prospects of the Corporation's industry and the Corporation's prospects, plans, financial position and business strategy may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Canadian securities legislation and regulations. Some of the forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "may", "will", "expect", "intend", "estimate", "project", "could", "anticipate", "plan", "foresee", "believe" or "continue", the negatives of these terms, the variations of them or the use of other similar terms. Although the Corporation believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that these expectations will prove to have been correct. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions. These statements do not reflect the potential impact of any non-recurring items or of any mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, asset write-downs or other transactions or charges that may be announced or that may occur after the date hereof. While the list below of cautionary statements is not exhaustive, some important factors that could affect our future operating results, financial position and cash flows and could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, namely changes in the legislation or the regulatory environment as it relates to the sale of prescription drugs and the pharmacy exercise, the success of the Corporation's business model, changes in laws and regulations, or in their interpretations, changes to tax regulations and accounting pronouncements, the cyclical and seasonal variations in the industry in which we operate, the intensity of competitive activity in the industry in which we operate, the supplier and brand reputations, our equity interest in Rite Aid, our ability to attract and retain pharmacists, labour disruptions, including possibly strikes and labour protests, the accuracy of management's assumptions and other factors that are beyond our control.
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