Flat Christmas trading has prompted a profit downgrade for Life Pharmacy.
The listed pharmacy group is now expecting to report a net profit of $1.45 million for the year to March 31, down from the $2.1 million previously forecast.
Chief executive Tim Roper said yesterday that trading over the Christmas period had been flat.
He said sales were at about the same levels as last year.
Another factor was delays to its plan to add new stores to the group.
At Life Pharmacy's annual meeting in July, shareholders were told of plans to boost the 21-business pharmacy chain to a maximum of 30 stores throughout the country.
Although positive discussions were continuing, it was unlikely any transactions would be completed before the financial year ended in March, Roper said.
Life Pharmacy became New Zealand's first listed pharmacy group in March via a back-door listing through online cosmetics retailer Beauty Direct.
The $38.4 million deal saw Beauty Direct buy up Life Pharmacy's assets, paying for the purchase with Beauty Direct shares.
The assets included Life Pharmacy's brand and its 49 per cent shareholding in 17 pharmacy companies.
Turnover from those stores was more than $100 million in 2005.
Shares in the company closed up 3c at 91c last night.By Georgina Bond