Walgreen Co. (WAG), the nation's largest drugstore chain in sales, on Tuesday posted a 7.8 percent rise in June same-store sales (search), lifted by greater pharmacy business and sales of front-end merchandise.

The company said sales at its drugstores open at least a year grew 7.8 percent in June, with total sales climbing 12 percent to $3.5 billion from $3.12 billion last year. Same-store sales of front-end merchandise climbed 7 percent.

On a same-store basis, monthly pharmacy sales rose 8.2 percent on an 11.8 percent increase in total sales. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores were up 6.5 percent, while pharmacy sales accounted for 65 percent of monthly sales, Walgreen said.

For the fiscal year to date, same-store sales have grown 8.5 percent as overall sales expanded by 12.8 percent to $35.2 billion from $31.2 billion last year.