The activity of chemist’s shops and the incomes of chemists
In 2006, the turnover of the 22 500 chemist’s shops located in France was about 34 billion euros all taxes included. This highly regulated industry is very dynamic. During those last years, the increase of its turnover value is higher than the entire retail trade industry (+5.8% on average per year between 2000 and 2006 against 4%). Over the same period, with increasing staff costs, operating surplus decreased of 1% per year in 2005 and 2006 after a continuous annual growth of almost 5%. Chemist’s shops can legally be individual business, or more and more companies. The number of these companies has been multiplied by 2.5 since 1990. In particular the “sociétés d’exercice libéral” (SEL) rise sharply - 1 for 8 in 2006 against 1 for 50 in 2001 - taking advantage of a tax regime allowing operators to be paid with dividends. As in the current accounting and tax system it is not possible to know the amount of those dividends, these companies have been excluded from the analysis. In 2006, the average gross annual income of the owner of a chemist’s shop (excluding SEL) was 132 000 euros, with differences in average incomes ranging from 121 000 to 143 000 euros, depending on the legal form adopted by the chemist’s shop. Between 2001 and 2006, the average gross income of chemists (excluding SEL) increased by 1.3% per year, that is, in constant euros, a decrease of almost 0.6%. The decrease results from increasing payroll taxes and shrinking margin rates. It is relevant with a slight slowdown in the consumption growth of drugs in 2005 and 2006, especially, with a strong decline in prices.