Boots plc says its Boots Opticians chain recorded a sales decline of 1 percent during the fiscal 3rd quarter ended Dec. 31, but while the underlying market conditions in the UK remain difficult, the management is confident that recent structural reorganization measures and increased marketing will have a positive effect in the near future. The Boots drugstore chain's sales rose by 1 percent, but on a same-store basis they fell by 0.7 percent. Meanwhile, the British drugstore group has completed the sale of Boots Healthcare International to Reckitt Benckiser for £1,926 million (€2,824m-$3,389m) in cash. Of this amount, £1.4 billion (€2.1bn-$2.5bn) will be returned to shareholders, and £0.4 billion (€0.6bn-$0.7bn) will be retained to fund investments in the stores and other group operations, and to improve financial flexibility.