Boots Opticians plans to increase the number of its franchised doors from eight to 20 in the near future. Meanwhile, preliminary figures suggest that the management integration of Boots Opticians into that of the Boots the Chemists drugstores started to pay off for the UK-based optical retail chain in the 4th quarter, ended March 1. In a preliminary statement issued by Boots plc, the restructuring process was blamed for poor performances earlier in the financial year, but now the optical chain is said to be benefiting from the move, as its sales rose by 6.7 percent in the 4th quarter.

Annual sales are still expected to fall by 4 percent, with an operating loss of £2-4 million (€2.9-5.8m-$3.7-7.4m), although some press reports had predicted a full-year loss of 9 million for the chain. The drugstore division, Boots the Chemists, reported 3.3 percent growth in sales, with a 2.2 percent increase in same-store sales in spite of a difficult consumption environment in the UK, which is expected to persist.