(Bloomberg) — Walgreen Co., the largest U.S. drugstore chain by revenue, beat analysts' expectations after the company said it filled more prescriptions at its retail pharmacies than ever before.

First-quarter sales rose 6.7 percent to $19.6 billion as customers filled a record 222 million prescriptions, 4.3 percent more than a year ago, the Deerfield, Illinois-based company said in a statement today. Pharmacy sales accounted for about two- thirds of revenue in the quarter.

Net income rose 16 percent to $809 million, or 85 cents a share, from $695 million or 72 cents a share a year ago. Excluding one-time items, earnings were 81 cents a share, beating the 75-cent average of analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

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