A mild winter for coughs and colds and revenue pressures failed to prevent the emergence of a prescription revenue in the UK Alliance Boots health and beauty. Within the group, with more than 2,500 stores in the UK, helped by demand in beauty and toiletries like last year with the launch of an exclusive range of top Champneys bath products helped lift earnings a 2% to £ 2.15bn. Throughout the UK retail, revenue was 5.2% higher at £ 750 million, although sales fell 0.3% to £ 6.37bn for the year to March 31, cajole 1.6% decline in revenue associated dispensing and £ 2.37 bn . Meanwhile, more prescriptions dispensed last year, to 224 million items - up 1.9% on the basis of like-for-like, further reduction in Boots face reimbursement rates set by the Government. Also affected more branded drugs lose patent protection and be replaced by cheaper rivals. In the category of retail health, revenue declined by 2.4% to £ 891m due to strong competition and lower volumes of cough and cold medicines keep the quieter winter for the disease. Elsewhere in Alliance Boots, the pharmaceutical wholesale division Equipment for drugs to more than 160,000 pharmacies, doctors, health centers and hospitals in 21 countries, saw revenue surge 27.9% or 2.4% on a like-for-like basis. Group-wide revenue was 10.2% to £ 693m. Executive chairman Stefano Pessina said: "In recent years, we expect the economic environment to remain challenging with continued pressure on both consumer and government spending. It will produce both challenges and new opportunities for us. ' Providing the company, which has made private in £ 11.1bn acquisition in 2007, around 75,000 staff in the UK. Alliance Boots said it had enjoyed success in developing an international presence for major brands such as No 7, even in countries where it does not have a store. This includes a partnership with Procter & Gamble sells a variety of independent pharmaceutical laboratory Boots in European countries more. Total revenue for the retail division outside the UK increased by 6.9% to £ 965m, with revenues up 17% at a bargain £ 63m following growth in Norway, Ireland and Thailand.