Alliance Boots , owner of Europe's biggest pharmacy chain, forecast double digit trading profit growth for the 2011-12 year after performing strongly over the Christmas quarter.

The privately-owned firm said group revenue in the three months to December 31, its fiscal third quarter, increased 14.1 percent year-on-year on both an actual and constant currency basis.

This performance again demonstrates the ability of our group to continue to grow, despite the regulatory and consumer spending challenges facing our sector, said Executive Chairman Stefano Pessina.

Alliance Boots said Boots UK posted a 4.1 percent rise in revenue in stores open over a year over the five weeks to December 31.

It said third quarter revenue at its pharmaceutical wholesale division rose 21.3 percent, reflecting the acquisition of ANZAG just over a year ago. Like-for-like revenue increased 1.6 percent.

Looking to 2012, we expect the economic environment to remain tough, added Pessina.

Alliance Boots was taken private for 11 billion pounds in 2007 by KKR and Pessina in what at the time was Europe's biggest leveraged buyout.

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Paul Sandle)